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Wild and Free Forever

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At the Delaware County Veterans Memorial in Newtown Square, Pa., a statue of Italian-American William “Wild Bill” Guarnere will be memorialized in perpetuity. His family offered an eight-foot bronze statue, weighing 1,300 pounds, for the memorial. It was created by sculptor Chad Fisher in his studio and foundry near Harrisburg and was produced at cost. The family has actively raised the $65,000 needed in materials to finalize the project.

“What they have done here [at the memorial] is beautiful, and I like the fact that it is a place for all veterans,” said Gene. “When I offered [the statue] to them, they were so excited. My father’s statue will be a great addition.”

Wild Bill served in the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division and lost his right leg to artillery fire during the Battle of the Bulge, while trying to save a comrade. He was awarded the Silver Star, two Bronze Stars, and two Purple Hearts. He also was the subject of the 2001 HBO miniseries Band of Brothers.

Wild Bill lived his life in South Philadelphia. Most of his family now lives in Delaware County, making the memorial a convenient place to visit him.

The memorial’s education committee hosts students for “living history” teachings. “Gramps often went to schools, and the education portion would make him very happy,” says Debi Rafferty.

For more information on the education project or to honor a veteran with a personalized brick, visit www.delcoveteransmemorial.com or call
(610) 400-8722.

Greg Mathias
Author: Greg Mathias

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