Spirit of the American Navy
July 12, 2013 — Source: Positively Naperville
A decade ago, hundreds of citizens gathered in Burlington Square Park on Memorial Day weekend to celebrate the rededication of the Spirit of the American Doughboy, a sculpture of a World War I soldier by E. M. Viquesney, designed to honor the veterans and casualties of World War I.
Back then, local artist Dee Pasternak had spearheaded the restoration project for nearly two years, coining the slogan, “Save Our Doughboy,” to raise funds to replenish the weathered and damaged pressed copper sculpture that had been first dedicated in 1926. Her aim had been to restore the sculpture to its original splendor and enhance its setting in the park.
And that Sunday, surrounded by members of the American Legion Post 43 and the Judd Kendall VFW Post 3873 and citizens, Naperville Park District Commissioner Ron Ory, Century Walk President Brand Bobosky and local historian Steve Hyett recognized Pasternak’s community spirit, vision and can-do collaboration.
Ten years later, Hyett, also a member of the Century Walk Board of Directors, discovered another Viquesney sculpture titled “Spirit of the American Navy,” carefully tucked inside the Brass Anchor in Pentwater, Mich. The companion piece, one of eight in the nation, recently was acquired by Century Walk for $15,500.
Bobosky is hopeful that the sculpture of the World War I sailor will fi nd its place in Burlington Square Park, facing the Doughboy. Though the sculpture has arrived in Naperville, complete details of another collaboration among Century Walk, the Naperville Park District, the City, veterans organizations and the community still are in the works.
After consulting with Greg Sagen of Signature Design Group, Bobosky estimates the total cost of the landscaped plaza with installation on a granite pedestal, a concrete foundation and sidewalks would cost $73,000. If fundraising goals are met for the base and landscaping, the dedication could be held on the U.S.
Navy’s next birthday, Oct. 13, 2013. For more information, contact Century Walk at (630) 355-5553 or visit www.centurywalk.org.