Memorial Day event planned May 29 in Fremont
Ed Faltin was just 20 years old when he was ordered to crawl up Heartbreak Ridge during the Korean War.
It was September 1951, and U.S. forces were advancing against North Korean and Chinese soldiers in what would be a bloody, month-long battle.
An enemy machine gun nest, posted at the top of the steep, rocky ridge had immobilized American fighters below. The former Scribner resident was ordered to crawl around to the enemy bunker’s side and take it out with a grenade.
When he got within 8 feet of it, Faltin threw the grenade before enemy soldiers spotted him. Then they hurled a grenade at him.
“One thing about a Korean grenade, they sparkled like a kid’s sparkler. I could see it coming and started rolling away,” Faltin said in a 2010 Tribune article.
Faltin destroyed the bunker, but the Fremont man still carries the shrapnel from that night.
On Monday, those who attend a Memorial Day service in Fremont can learn more about Faltin and other local veterans who served their county.
The public is invited to the annual event, which starts at 11 a.m. Monday, May 29. It will take place in Fremont Veterans Park, which is in front of Sidner Ice Arena at 1558 E. Military Ave.
Those wishing to attend need to enter from the east side of Military Avenue as work is taking place on that street, said Al Crook, past commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 854. The intersection of Military Avenue and Bell Street is blocked off.
Crook, a Vietnam veteran, will serve as moderator for the Memorial Day service, welcoming guests and giving closing remarks.
He also will read a summary of Faltin’s experiences during the Korean War.
U.S. Army Veteran Dale Finney of Fremont will say a few words about his experiences while serving in Vietnam.
Chris Madsen, chairman of the Veterans Park committee and co-chairman of the Avenue of Flags, will provide brief comments about progress at the park. He also will provide an update on the Avenue of Flags and will give commands for the placing of the wreaths at the Eternal Flame, Crook said.
Wreaths are laid in honor of different branches of the military.
The Fremont Honor Guard will present the colors and the Three Volley Salute.
Crook said Prisoners of War (P.O.W) and those Missing in Action (M.I.A.) will be honored.
Master Sgt. Samantha Renner of the U.S. Air Force will sing the “National Anthem.”
Taps will be played.
After the Memorial Day service, lunch will be served at the Fremont Eagles Club, 649 N. Main St. The lunch is free to veterans. A small donation is appreciated from others who attend.
Crook encourages the public to attend the Memorial Day service.
“We hold this ceremony each year to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice in fighting for freedom to keep the United States of America free and to help other countries that are trying to maintain their freedom,” Crook said.