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Cheektowaga Veteran Pays Tribute to Heroes for 25th Year

4:20 PM, Jul 5, 2013   |    comments
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CHEEKTOWAGA, NY - If you think you have pride in your country, just wait until you see the display a Cheektowaga family has.

People in Cheektowaga could tell you all about Ed Krier. Drive along Nokomis Parkway and you can't miss Ed.

Train sets, plastic dolls in uniform, huge blow up figures and about 300 flags - most of them with stars and stripes.

"It just gives me a day to give thanks for all the veterans, because if it weren't for the veterans, I wouldn't be here today," said Krier.

Ed is a Marine veteran who served in the Korean War. And he's been showing off this display and adding to it for 25 years. Along the way, he's gotten help from his grandchildren.

"He pretty much runs it, he tells us what we're doing you know, makes sure everything is put where he wants it, but he's got it all sorted out in the garage, it sits there all year waiting for just today," said Jake Krier, Ed's grandson.

That includes a small cannon Ed fires off four times on the fourth.

"[It] just kind of shakes everybody up, let them know this is the Fourth of July, get your flag out!" he said. "I may act a little violent, but that's only one day of the year, the rest of the year I'm a good boy."

Ed fills the cannon with black powder and lights the fuse. He fires it as early as 7 in the morning on Independence Day. Most of his neighbors say they don't mind the noise.

Andy Walsh, one of Ed's neighbors said, "It's just Fourth of July, not hurting anybody, but it is loud, it shakes the house."

"Whenever I feel we need a little bang in the party, we shoot the cannon off," Ed said.

New this year to his collection, is a flag, which shows the names of 3,000 people. All of those listed died on 9/11.

"And those people too, with the veterans they're heroes too, even though they weren't in the service, they died for terrorist actions that should've never happened," he said.

And that's what the display is all about for this veteran - paying tribute to those who've sacrificed for America.

Ed says it takes a couple days to get everything out of storage and a few hours to put everything up.

As for next year, Ed's not sure what he'll add to the display, but he jokes he's running out of room on his lawn and isn't sure how much more he can add.

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