Edmonds Fourth of July neighborhood parade of four, from left, Art Jones, Roger Lageschulte, Phil Sacks and Lee Lageschulte. (Eunice Jones)

Edmonds Fourth of July neighborhood parade of four, from left, Art Jones, Roger Lageschulte, Phil Sacks and Lee Lageschulte. (Eunice Jones)

COVID couldn’t cancel July 4 parade for Purple Heart vet, 90

Phil Sacks, injured by shrapnel in combat, drew salutes marching through the streets of Edmonds.

EDMONDS — As a decorated Army veteran, Phil Sacks was used to marching in a Fourth of July parade with thousands of spectators.

The Edmonds parade that started in 1907 was canceled this year, but Sacks, 90, still showed up for duty.

His neighbor, Art Jones, organized a parade in his honor around the block on Saturday morning.

Sacks, a Purple Heart recipient, led the way in his combat infantry jacket. Jones, wearing blue jeans, carried a flag and blared music from a Bose Bluetooth speaker.

“We played John Philip Sousa as if it were the Boston Pops,” said Jones, 77.

He recruited two friends in star-spangled clothing to tag along through the otherwise quiet sidestreets of Edmonds.

Jones and Sacks were bummed about the parade’s cancellation, a massive event where some 20,000 line the route.

“We always cheer him on,” Jones said.

Their impromptu parade gained notice.

“There were some older ladies on a bench and when we walked by they stood and saluted him,” Jones said. “He thought that was great.”

Younger people wanted to join the parade, he said, but it was over after four blocks. Sacks said it was enough.

Sacks was in the infantry when wounded in 1951 in the Korean War.

“I was in a foxhole,” he said. “And I was in close combat with North Koreans. We were trying to take a hill and they didn’t want to give it up. We had some artillery coming in. I got shrapnel in my back.”

That’s not the only pain he lives with.

“One of the guys near me, he was between me and the round that came in and blew him on top of me, blew his leg off, and he died,” Sacks said, his voice choking.

If you really want to thank him for his service, don’t set off fireworks.

“Fireworks drive me up a wall,” Sacks said. “Veterans in my position who have gone through combat and have PTSD get very nervous when you hear loud noises and you don’t know where they’re coming from.”

Andrea Brown: abrown@heraldnet.com; 425-339-3443. Twitter @reporterbrown.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Sid Logan (left) and Rob Toyer
PUD candidates focus on rates, broadband and renewables

Incumbent Sidney Logan faces former Marysville City Council member Rob Toyer for the District 1 seat.

Motorcycle rider dies after collision with car near Stanwood

The investigation of the fatal crash on Pioneer Highway closed stretches of it to drivers.

Deputies search for suspect after shooting south of Everett

One man was transported to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries. A shooter reportedly fled.

Bill Bruch (left ) and Dave Paul
First-term Dem faces a GOP challenger for House seat in 10th

Rep. Dave Paul and Bill Bruch differ widely on the response to COVID-19.

Ballot drop box in Mill Creek hit by truck

The box was damaged Friday. Ballots inside will be counted. Officials gave other dropoff options.

FILE - In this July 31, 2015 file photo, an orca leaps out of the water near a whale watching boat in the Salish Sea in the San Juan Islands, Wash. Habitat protections for an endangered population of orcas would be greatly expanded under a proposal to be advanced by NOAA Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)
Millions have been spent on orca recovery: Is it working?

Restoring destroyed salmon habitat is the key to regaining Southern Resident killer whale numbers.

This firetruck serves the South County Fire District. (City of Lynnwood)
Two fire districts want to change how they make money

South County Fire wants to do a benefit charge, while Sky Valley Fire looks for a levy lid lift.

Sawyer West was last seen Oct. 16 at Highway 99 and 220th Street Southwest in Lynnwood. (Courtesy Carol Crane)
Search continues for missing man last seen in Lynnwood

Family, friends and police ask that people keep an eye out for Sawyer West, who has schizophrenia.

Most Read