‘Fallen Soldier’ sculpture is dedicated at Exchange Club Veterans Plaza
May 26, 2013 — Source: Positively Naperville
With dozens of military veterans in attendance from the Judd Kendall VFW Post 3873 and American Legion Post 43, the Naperville Riverwalk Commission and Century Walk Foundation hosted Sunday a public dedication of the new Fallen Soldier Sculpture in Exchange Club Veterans Plaza on the Riverwalk.
As visitors arrived to view the unveiling at 2PM, the sculpture remained wrapped in a camouflage cover.
The bronze sculpture, which depicts a “life-size” replica of a soldier’s boots, rifle, helmet, usually includes dog tags, according to Jack Shiffler who served as emcee as the unveiling marked another time and place to honor the lives of every soldier who has died on the battlefield.
Shiffler explained that when a serviceman or woman is killed on the battlefield, it has become customary to arrange his boots, rifle and helmet in the manner of the sculpture known as Fallen Soldier. The surviving members of the soldier’s squad will gather around and memorialize their fallen comrade since they would be unable to attend a funeral.
This arrangement also is known as a Battlefield Cross, Shiffler said.
Mindful this Memorial Day weekend that “All gave some, some gave all,” the sculpture will create a place to pause to remember our fallen heroes. Century Walk President Brand Bobosky expressed his appreciation to the City Council and SECA Fund that created funding to finish the Exchange Club Veterans Plaza.
Greg Sagan of the Signature Group, designer of the Exchange Club Veterans Plaza, explained that he had included space for the sculpture in his original design. Funding was short in 2009 when the plaza was completed. Thanks to Century Walk, funds recently were appropriated to finish the plaza.
ABC News likely will broadcast the dedication on Channel 7 later on Sunday.
Shiffler added that he’s hopeful dog tags will be added to the Fallen Soldier Sculpture at a later date.
Behind the granite monument with the words “We resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain,” is a plaque dedicated by the Evening Kiwanis of Naperville with the names of all military personnel from Naperville who have died in service since the War of 1812.
Exchange Club Veterans Plaza is located along the Riverwalk at Jackson Ave., just east of Webster St.
The Naperville Memorial Day Parade steps off at 10:30AM Mon., May 27. The parade route runs along Jackson Ave. to Washington St., north along Washington to Benton Ave., and east on Benton to Ss. Peter and Paul.
Exchange Club Veterans Plaza is a location along the parade route on Jackson Ave. where the veterans stop for the Naperville Municipal Band to perform the National Anthem as they lay a ceremonial wreath in memory of all military men and women who have given the supreme sacrifice for America’s freedom.