Remembering Edgar Culbertson: 52 Years Later

Updated: April 30, 2019 07:04 PM

Tom Mackay is beyond loyal. For 52 years, he's been honoring a friend who gave the ultimate sacrifice. "It makes me feel proud, to have been Ed's friend," he shared with us.

Tuesday, on a chilly, windy day, he and some loved ones gathered in Canal Park. Mackay carried four yellow daffodils. He placed them around the plaque honoring Edgar Culbertson. Someone had already laid a red rose there, and anchored it down with rocks. After all, it was the anniversary of Black Sunday.

April 30, 1967, a fierce storm hit the Northland. The wind whipped huge waves up on Lake Superior. Three teenage boys, the Halverson brothers, had been swept over the side of the pier in Canal Park. Culbertson was one of three Coast Guard members who went out to try and save three boys.

The coast guardsmen could not reach them, and on their return back on the pier, a wave swept Culbertson into the water. 

He's been memorialized at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Also, Mackay shared that the Coast Guard will soon have a vessel named for his friend. It's being built in Louisiana. 

"It's going to be a 154 foot fast response cutter, and it will bear Edgar Culbertson's name. We are very proud to see that accomplished," he shared. He still keeps in touch with Culbertson's family.

A group of Coast Guard members passed under the lift bridge, about the same time that Mackay and his group were there. The waves were wild, and the wind was howling. A fitting weather day, for the anniversary.

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