Saluting the Armed Forces Naperville to Dedicate Statue of World War II Heroes

By Griffin, Jake | Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), November 9, 2006 | Go to article overview

Saluting the Armed Forces Naperville to Dedicate Statue of World War II Heroes


Griffin, Jake, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)


Byline: Jake Griffin Daily Herald Staff Writer

The venue will be different, but the ceremony will be familiar.

Naperville's Veterans Day commemoration will take place at 11 a.m. Saturday at a new location - Central Park near Benton and Court streets, downtown.

The shift from the normal Veterans Park site is designed to coincide with the dedication of a sculpture honoring five World War II veterans from Naperville who were recipients of significant military awards.

"It's really the same ceremony as we always do, but we moved it for the statue ceremony," said Mike Barbour, a Vietnam War veteran and past commander of Judd Kendall VFW Post 3873.

"They asked if we'd have a problem moving the ceremony this year and we said it wouldn't be an issue."

The sculpture, commissioned as part of the city's Century Walk program, honors Army 1st Lt. Al Rubin, platoon commander; Army Staff Sgt. Leo Kuefler, tank commander; Army Air Corps Capt. Vinnie Mazza, B-24 pilot; Navy Lt. Bob Wehrli, PT boat commander; and Marine Corps 1st Lt. Don Darfler, fighter pilot.

Mazza, Wehrli, Rubin and Kuefler all won Silver Stars for bravery. Darfler won a Distinguished Flying Cross.

Naperville Mayor George Pradel, a former Marine, said the change of venue only improves the ceremony. …

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