The City of Revere dedicated a memorial pole in honor of World War II Navy Veteran Joseph A. Festa Sr. during an impressive ceremony Sunday afternoon.
Family, friends, and city officials gathered at the corner of Ann Road and Malden Street where the pole in “Joseph A. Festa Sr. Square” was unveiled.
Mr. Festa was a successful real estate developer whose company, Joseph Festa Construction Company, built more than 200 homes in West Revere. He was a founder and past president of the Revere Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Festa and his wife, Camille, raised their children at their home on Ann Road.
Marc Silvestri, director of Revere veterans services and master of ceremonies for the speaking program, said, “Today we’re here for a special occasion. Joe was a Navy veteran and did some amazing things at a young age for this country. He came back and literally laid a foundation for this city. His children have continued to go on and do amazing things for the city.
“They are a great family, a well-known family who are very well respected in this city,” said Silvestri. “I couldn’t think of a more special dedication or memorial to be able to do for the Festa family and for Joe Festa.”
Mayor Brian Arrigo said he is always inspired by individuals like Mr. Festa – not just for their brave and dedicated military service – but by the years of devotion to Revere that continued throughout their lives after their military service had ended.
“While he was a World War II veteran and part of the Greatest Generation, we remember him as one of the Revere’s most distinguished residents,” said Arrigo. “A lot of the Revere we know today is the achievement of Joe Festa’s life.”
Lauding Mr. Festa’s enormous contributions to the city as its foremost developer and to several local organizations as a leader and philanthropist, Arrigo said, “Yet, for all that Joe Festa did for and in Revere, he never outgrew his youthful enthusiasm for this city and especially, for his greatest accomplishment – his family.”
Arrigo said Mr. Festa “carried himself as the consummate gentleman, always well dressed in a shirt and tie and greeting every person he met with a handshake that sent a wave of friendship.
“Joe Festa loved this favorite little corner of the world here where Ann Road intersects Malden Street,” continued Arrigo. “It was where he was happiest: at his home. Beginning today and for the years to come, the name Joseph A. Festa will fittingly adorn this corner.”
John Festa said his father’s time in the U.S. Navy “really structured who my dad was.”
“When my dad got out of the Navy, he had a such fierce work ethic – he just worked hard, so today is so fitting and especially pleasing to have the pole at this location that he developed, and the house that my family grew up in, and the street named after my sister (Ann).
“My father would always say he was so dedicated and proud of building the neighborhood with my mom who sacrificed a lot as well,” said John Festa. “But they were both especially proud of living in the community that they built, and their reputations were so important to them.
“One of the things my parents always stressed to their children was to always give back to the community. When I look back at some of the things my dad and mom did, like starting the Revere Chamber of Commerce, the Civic Club, and St. Mary’s ballfields – that’s what was important to them. They weren’t materialistic people, they were just hard-working that just loved their family.
“And we’re so proud today to have this and I can’t thank all of you enough – on behalf of the Festa family, I want to thank you for taking this opportunity to be here today and be a part of this. You’re good friends and we truly appreciate it. “And lastly, I want to thank God for giving my family the best mother and father we could have ever asked for,” said John Festa.