Date Issued: November 07, 2018
The Westmont American Legion and the Village of Westmont has scheduled a memorial dedication in honor of Congressional Medal of Honor recipient James William Robinson Jr. to be held at the Westmont Village Hall, 31 W. Quincy Street on Saturday, November 10 at 10 a.m. Over a year of coordination and work went into the project.
Robinson was a war hero who made the ultimate sacrifice for his country on April 11, 1966 while serving in Vietnam. He was a Sergeant in the U.S. Army, Company C, 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry, 1st Division. There were 38 men killed in combat from this unit on this day when Robinson sacrificed himself to advance his unit against the enemy resulting in a victorious battle.
“This started with a phone call from Frank Trout,” said Hal Burke, a Navy Veteran who served on a ship called the U.S.S. The Sullivans. Trout, who is an Army veteran who served in Vietnam and a Purple Heart recipient, had learned about Robinson’s heroics and the fact that a school in Lyons is named after Robinson, but there was nothing commemorating his legacy in Westmont. Robinson lived in Westmont through the age of 10, from 1940 to 1950.
Burke recruited Dorothy Furtney, Director of Business Development for the Made In America Stores, to assist in an effort to create a fitting commemoration of Robinson. Eventually, artist Scott Teller from New York State was commissioned to do the project.
Teller, of PatriotPlaques.US,
used a black granite for the project, which is the same material used for the Vietnam War Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C. This type of granite is one of the hardest materials on the planet, and was specifically chosen so that the plaque will last forever. The material is so dense, that it is engraved and polished with diamond bit tools.
Teller and his partner, Bill Samm, who is a retired Green Beret, work together on a project called 'The Pictures That Will Never Fade'. They have worked on this project for about a decade and complete approximately 100 plaques and projects a year, all as volunteers and free of charge to the recipients.
“On behalf of the Westmont American Legion, I want to thank everyone who worked on this initiative to make this possible,” added Frank Trout, who is the Westmont American Legion Post Commander. The group is also working with the Park District to renovate and expand the veterans memorial at 75 E. Richmond.
“The importance of this plaque is to recognize the gallantry and heroism of a young man who was born and raised in Westmont,” concluded Burke. “It’s important for all of us to remember.”
Mayor Ron Gunter will be the featured speaker when the Westmont Robinson Memorial Plaque is unveiled to the public on Saturday, November 10, 10 a.m. at the Village Hall. For more information, contact the Village at email@example.com or 630-417-0280.
Contact: Larry McIntyre
Village of Westmont
Communications Director/Public Information Officer