EDWARDSVILLE - The annual Edwardsville Veterans Day Parade attracted a good faithful crowd, many who were previously in the military on Saturday.
Edwardsville American Legion Post 199 organizes the event and the parade began on Saturday, Nov. 11, near Eden Church on Main Street and ended on St. Louis Street.
Ron Eberhardt, Edwardsville American Legion Post 199 commander, had a special person honored on Saturday - Sergeant John Frederick Falkenrath, United States Army retired. Falkenrath suffered a serious leg injury on May 30, 1971, in an area called the “rocket pocket.” He eventually lost his leg because of the injury and was lucky to survive.
“I was extremely fortunate that a resupply helicopter was coming back to Chu Lai from out west and decided to stop and pick up the worst of the wounded (myself and my M-60 machine gunner). I was conscious the whole time until they put me out in the operating room. When I woke up in the recovery room, I realized my left leg had been amputated above my knee.”
He eventually worked for Scott Air Force Base for the Department of Defense for 34 years after receiving a bachelor’s of science degree in accounting from Washington University in St. Louis.
Eberhardt said the Edwardsville Veterans Parade has quite a tradition and is simply “a great event for the community.” He also said it was special to honor a Vietnam veteran - Falkenrath.
The parade had strong participation and many military and patriotic displays to celebrate Veterans Day.