Elderly Western Springs veterans honored by car parade after Memorial Day Parade canceled

Sarah Schulte Image
Monday, May 25, 2020
Western Springs veterans honored by car parade on Memorial Day
The officials Memorial Day Parade was canceled this year, but nothing was going to stop Western Springs from honoring Walt and Seedy.

WESTERN SPRINGS, Ill. (WLS) -- Two veterans, both in their 90s, were honored on Memorial Day with a car parade in Western Springs.

Dozens came out to honor Seedy Ulrich and Walt Bergenthal, two of the town's most popular residents.

"He's just a kid compared to me," said Seedy. "He's five months younger than me."

At 94 and 93 years young, respectively, Walt and Seedy, as they are commonly known, are best friends, next door neighbors and World War II veterans. Because of the canceled Memorial Day parade this year, they thought they'd spend a quiet day at home.

"Our daughters didn't tell us a thing about it, they just said we will pick you up at 10 o'clock and it's going to be a surprise for you to enjoy it," Walt said.

Walt and Seedy were brought to Western Springs Veterans Park. At 11 a.m. sharp, they were surprised with a big car parade to honor their service.

"I'm amazed this many people turned out to honor Walt and I, words can't describe it, it's just great, just great," Seedy said.

An Army vet, Seedy fought in the Battle of the Bulge. Walt served in the Army Air corps in France and Germany. The surprise parade was organized by close friend and Vietnam veteran Bruce Harken.

"These guys are well known and really well liked and very a five in supporting veterans, it's something I felt I had to do, being a veteran myself," Harken said.

In a normal year, Western Springs hosts a big Memorial Day parade in the center of town. Walt and Seedy are counting on it happening next year, and hope they will be healthy enough to attend.

"Seedy and I always talked about it, we hope to be the last two left," Walt said.

"And neither of us wants to give up first," Seedy added.