96-age difference aside, two unlikely friends’ friendship is remaining stronger than ever.
Erling Kindem, a WWII veteran and his old neighbor, a 4-year-old preschooler, joined together Sunday to celebrate Erling’s 90th birthday.
— KGW News (@KGWNews) September 14, 2014
“Happy Birthday Erling,” the young boy said as he hugged the WWII vet.
They dynamic duo’s friendship became an internet sensation in the summer of 2014, when America first met Emmett and Erling. They were next door neighbors sharing lawnmower races and backyard croquet matches, despite their large age difference. But as they say, age is nothing but a number and Erling and Emmett’s friendship clearly proves this.
Emmett has since moved to a house in the country and Erling to a retirement community.
Sunday, as family members gathered around to celebrate Erling on his birthday, Emmett, his parents and younger sister, also were by Erling’s side.
“It is very special,” Emmett’s mother, Anika Rychner said of her son’s relationship with Erling.
Since their move, Anika and her husband Bryan have made regular trips to Erling’s apartment. Now Emmett and Erling take rides on the elevator and compete in foot races across the basement parking garage, USA Today reported.
Still, nothing compares to being next door neighbors.
“He misses Emmett,” Erling’s wife Joyce said.
As the guests began to sing, Emmett stood up front, leading the birthday song – adding an extra “cha-cha-cha” at the end.
Emmett then gifted his new pal with two packages, each containing a set of dog tags that friends could wear together.
Engraved on the dog tags were: “Emmett & Erling” and “Friends Forever” in Norwegian, sentimental to Erling as he learned this as a boy.
Before Emmett departed the birthday celebration he gave his best friend a hug goodbye and one last “Happy Birthday.”
You come back again,” Erling told Emmett as he headed for the door.
“I will eventually,” Emmett replied as he turned and looked back.
96-Year Age Difference Aside, These Two Pals’ Friendship Is Still Going Strong