By Per Peterson
If you’ve ever attended a Box Car Days Grand Parade, you know they don’t begin until a rifle is fired. The man who pulled the trigger for so many years to signal the start of the parade and one of the most dedicated and committed American Legionnaires, Harley Wahl, died Saturday morning at the age of 91.
“It was always his gunshot that started the parade,” said Wahl’s wife, Jane. “Last year when he was in the parade, he was 90, and someone put on Facebook that this man should be riding, not walking. He said to me the other day, ‘You suppose I could march in the parade in a wheelchair?’”
Of course, Wahl was much more to his community and friends than the man who fired the rifle. He was a member of the Tracy American Legion Post 273 for more than 60 years, serving three different stints as Commander, including for the last 10 years. Wahl, a frequent attendee at state and federal American Legion conventions, was also a Commander of the 7th District of the Minnesota American Legion and was also a Vice-Commander for Membership.
See this week’s Headlight Herald for more on this article.