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Naper Cemetery to dedicate new Veterans Memorial

A new memorial honoring Naperville veterans will be officially unveiled Sunday Naperville Cemetery.  |  Submitted

A new memorial honoring Naperville veterans will be officially unveiled Sunday at Naperville Cemetery. | Submitted

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Updated: December 10, 2012 6:14AM

Veterans Day in Naperville will be recognized in a special way at Naperville Cemetery.

This Sunday, officials plan to dedicate the new Veterans Memorial that will recognize the five branches of the armed forces.

A cluster of five jet-black granite monoliths, each individually engraved with the symbol of one of the five branches, will be unveiled at a ceremony to begin at 9:30 a.m. at the cemetery, 705 S. Washington St.

Cemetery Board President Cie Grosskopf said discussions about the memorial began about a year ago, along with the appointment of two board members who were asked to work on a design.

“My husband Jim and another board member, Jack Shiffler, worked up some ideas, and we contacted Troost Monument Company in Hillside to help us with the project,” Grosskopf said. “We paid for the memorial using the cemetery’s funds as well as from donations from the American Legion, the VFW, the Exchange Club and Masonic Lodge, as well as donations from the community.”

Mike Feinberg, designer and operations manager for Troost, said the project went pretty smoothly overall and that he “was allowed some creative freedom to complete the design.”

“The jet-black granite is imported from India and the whole project, from the time we ‘pull the trigger’ as I like to say until completion was about 5½ months,” Feinberg said. “The memorial is laid out in a pentagon design to represent the five branches. We had a few frenzied moments at the end as the deadline was approaching, but we managed to get it all done.”

Grosskopf said installation of the memorial took place during the past two to three weeks. A total of four benches and a flagpole have been installed at the site in addition to the granite structures. The memorial is situated on a 40-foot by 40-foot plot. Paver bricks from Ohio have been installed with names of local veterans.

“We felt this was a community thing that should be open to everyone, so someone doesn’t have to be buried here to have a commemorative brick,” Grosskopf said.

Those wishing to buy a brick can contact the cemetery at 630-355-1057.

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