The 44th piece of the Naperville century walk was unveiled this afternoon in its new home, Burlington Square Park.
The Spirit of the American Navy statue, one of only eight in the country, was the centerpiece of todays’ dedication, which fell on
the 238th birthday of the U.S. Navy.
“The Navy was a part of my life,” said Lou Kueltzo, a Navy Veteran and member of the Naperville American Legion Post 43 and the Judd Kendall VFW. “So today is just another memorable moment in my life as a Navy veteran, and I’m so happy that Naperville continues to recognize not just the doughboys, but the American Navy and Marines and I think that’s what it’s all about.”
“It represents all our sailors, men and women, who have made sacrifices, ultimate sacrifices,” said retired Navy Captain William Ott. “We’ve overcome a lot of challenges, faced adversity, but through those we’ve risen above those challenges and we’ve built a reputation as the strongest Navy in the world.”
Because of the government shut down, the Navy band was unable to attend today’s event, so the Naperville Municipal Band filled in to provided patriotic music.
The Sailor Boy now sits across the park from it’s counterpart the Spirit of the American Doughboy statue which was sculpted by the same artist E.M. Viquesney.
“They’re positioned so that they exactly face each other,” explained Lee Lindbert, the Senior Vice Commander for American Legion Post 43 in Naperville. “If you sight one and go to the other end, they are perfectly in line with each other.”
The project was funded by a community-wide, online fundraising campaign, as well as donations from the Century Walk, a Special Events and Cultural Amities grant from the city, as well as contributions from the Judd Kendall VFW and American Legion Post 43, which in total raised $77,000.
“We had contributions from five dollars, a lot of $50 checks and some in the thousands from individuals,” said W. Brand Bobosky, the President of the Century Walk. “For us at Century Walk, it’s an affirmation that people understand public art and the value of it.”
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