BANGOR, Maine (WABI) – Though you won’t find it on any calendar, the second week of November is unofficially “Ed Hendrickson Week.”
Veterans Day on the 11th is always a favorite for the World War II dive bomber pilot originally from Brewer. Then, the 14th is his birthday.
This year, Hendrickson had the help of a few dozen friends to celebrate turning 101. For the second-straight year, Hendrickson was the guest of honor at a drive-through birthday parade.
“Oh I thought this was the greatest!” Hendrickson said after his parade. “I’m just happy they came out. I’m so pleased and I’m kind of surprised here. I knew something was going to happen but I didn’t know what.”
“I said, ‘Oh, I’m not missing this one,’” said Marie Sekera, a family friend of Ed’s. “I had a million things today, but I said, ‘This is the most important thing to do today.’”
Once again, Sgt Tony Campbell helped organize the parade.
“Not everybody makes it to one, not everybody makes it to 50, but when you make it to 100 and then 101, that’s special,” said Campbell, an Air Force ROTC instructor.
SPCO Joy Asuncion, a Navy veteran just like Hendrickson, put a request for greeting cards.
“Well, I’ve known him for about three years now. I actually met him at Best Buy in Bangor. We both had on our Navy hats so I went up and introduced myself to him. Ever since then we’ve stayed connected,” Asuncion explained. “He’s just one of my heroes. I look up to the Greatest Generation.”
“My dad’s a veteran. It’s important to remember those who’ve served and we wanted to say…” Sophie Winchester started.
“Thank you and happy birthday,” Keira Kavanagh finished. Both girls attended the parade.
“I like all of the happy colors because I’m a color person, as you can see by what I wear most of the time,” Hendrickson said after the cars decorated with balloons and banners came through.
Ed says that sunny disposition is what’s helped him reach 101 years young.
“Just don’t let anything get you down. If you feel sad, feel sick or anything, play a little music. That’ll help you. You’ll get over it,” Hendrickson said.
From all of us at TV5, happy birthday Ed!
Copyright 2021 WABI. All rights reserved.