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SWFL veteran, retired police officer gets 90th birthday parade

Wednesday is a special day for a veteran and retired police officer.

Neighbors, friends and the sheriff’s office drove by to wish him a happy 90th birthday.

The SWFL vet has live a long life and witnessed many things but says the pandemic is the worst experience he’s ever lived through.

Ernest Fiore may have slowed down, but he’s still as sharp and as good-natured as ever.

“Today is somebody’s birthday I don’t know exactly who, but it looks like it might be me! Yes, I’m celebrating my 90th birthday. Thank God I made 90,” he said.

Family, friends, neighbors and deputies all joined forces to honor the veteran and retired police officer.

Out of his 90 birthdays, Fiore says this one tops it all.

“No, no, no, not like this. I had birthdays, but not like this one. This is great,” he said.

His daughter Cynthia Fiore-Brooks says the parade was such a thrill, and not just for her dad.

“To be able to see all these people come out for him and remember him, where he’s been locked up for two-and-a-half months, it’s just been amazing, a great experience,” she said.

To Ernest, his birthday parade gave him a chance, not only to say thank you, but to also offer a bit of encouragement in these strange times.

“Stay well, live long and pray. And hopefully, that you’re going to change the world,” he said.

Fiore has lived through wars and 9/11 but said the coronavirus is what he fears most.

“This is the worst probably, this pandemic. There seems to be no control over it. How can you protect yourself over a pandemic like that? It’s unbelievable,” he said.

So when we asked what he wanted for his birthday, his answer — a cure — so everyone can get back to their families.

“I hope so. That’s my wish, too scary, really,” he said.

Fiore served in the Korean War and was a police officer in New York for 21 years.

Reporter:Nicole Gabe
Writer:Briana Harvath
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