Visit Veterans’ Valor near Central ParkAs a leprechaun, I tour the world in search of the perfect four-leaf clover. And while passing through Naperville, I saw a site that made me pull over. It was an amazing bronze sculpture of five World War II vets Whose incredible story sadly is not well known to many in town yet. The five were all graduates of Naperville High Who, in their 20s, risked their lives never questioning why. These men earned military honors in their early years And thankfully all returned to Naperville to pursue successful careers. I noticed hundreds of people passing by busy with their cell phones in such a hurry And wondered if anyone of them even ever heard of these local heroes named Rubin, Kuefler, Mazza, Darfler and Wehrli. I silently thanked them for their service and whispered a soft prayer. Then gave them each a St Baldrick’s green scarf to wear. —by Pat Herr, With warm thoughts on St. Patrick’s Day 2014
Editor’s Note: During this bone-chilling winter, red scarves have adorned many of the sculptures in Naperville’s Century Walk outdoor art exhibit. Late one afternoon, just before St. Patrick’s Day, it’s reported the red scarves draped around the necks of five military men honored in Veterans’ Valor turned to St. Baldrick’s green for a special moment in time.
Update March 18, 2014 / Today is Primary Election Day in Illinois. Polls are open 6AM-7PM. Certainly the fine men depicted in the sculpture—and all troops serving to protect freedoms everywhere—would appreciate informed voters participating in this Primary Election. The Gubernatorial Election is Nov. 4, 2014.
Sampling of Positive Feedback / March 17, 2014: I love it!! —John Harvard
What a wonderful St. Patrick’s Day present! Thanks to the poet and publisher for reminding us of sacrifice making our celebration possible. —Brand Bobosky
What an honor to have known Al Rubin. —Harold Skripsky
Very clever! Thanks for calling it to my attention. Stay warm! —Patty Minta
That was a wonderful story! —Barbara Crookston
Related Post in the Daily Herald:Story by Marie Wilson
Did you know? Since 2006, Veterans’ Valor, a Century Walk sculpture created by sculptor Shirley McWorter-Moss, has stood on Washington Street at the entrance to Central Park to honor five World War II veterans from Naperville. The plaque placed in front of the sculpture reads: The heroism of Naperville’s many veterans is reflected in the unusual story of five men who grew up in this small town, attended Naperville High School, and served in World War II in various branches of the armed forces. Fortunately, they all returned home having earned high military honors. Four received the Silver Star and one received the distinguished flying cross. These five men – (left to right) Army 1st Lt. Al Rubin, Platoon Commander; Army Staff Sgt. Leo Kuefler, Tank Commander; Army Air Corps Cpt. Vinnie Mazza, B-24 Pilot; Navy Lt. Bob Wehrli, Pt. Boat Commander; and Marine Corps 1st Lt. Don Darfler, Fighter Pilot – represent the patriotism and sacrifices of numerous local men and women who have served our country and fought for freedom around the globe.
FYI: The collectible green scarves with Irish themes are a fundraising project created by the West Suburban Irish. Proceeds benefit St. Baldrick’s Foundation, an international initiative that raises funds for childhood cancer research.
Celebrate safely. God bless America.