World War II veteran Eugene Edwards walked into Jesse Soby American Legion Post No. 148 in Langhorne Borough Friday evening to see a crowd. He stopped to survey the roughly 100 people, stiffened his posture, and gave a salute.
Edwards, a resident of Langhorne Borough, and his friends and family celebrated his 100th birthday, which was Wednesday, and his service in U.S. Army fighting the Nazis.
State Rep. Frank Farry, Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick, and Langhorne Borough Mayor Joe Taylor all presented the veteran with resolutions and citations recognizing him for his impressive birthday and record of service.
“I am truly humbled to have joined Eugene in celebrating his 100th birthday. He is such an inspiration to us all and has shown unmeasurable acts of heroism and bravery throughout the years,” Farry said. “There is no one who deserves this special recognition more than Eugene for reaching such an incredible milestone. I wish him all the best in the years to come.”
Fitzpatrick thanked Edwards for his service and presented him with a flag that flew over the U.S. Capitol on his birthday. He also said Edwards would be receiving a letter from the White House.
Veteran-centered nonprofit Salute 2 Service Founder Rodney Wyatt and representatives from Warriors’ Watch presented Edwards with pieces of the American flag to recognize him for his service.
Edwards was born in western Pennsylvania in 1920 and moved to Langhorne in 1928, just before the Great Depression. He joined the military in October 1941, shortly before the U.S. entered World War II. He served in Tunisia, Sicily, Normandy just after D-Day, and Rhineland Ardennes and was awarded many citations including several bronze stars between 1943 and 1945.
While on the battlefield, he barely escaped injured before he set up camp as they fought the Nazis. He was along train tracks and heard a plane.
“I saw that German Messerschmitt coming with both guns blazing,” he said. “And he missed me.”
In England, he was awarded metals directly by Generals George S. Patton and Dwight D. Eisenhower.
On his longevity, Edwards thanked God for keeping him healthy.
Edwards is the father of one child, two grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren.