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Veterans lead Downers Grove Fourth of July procession

Published: Wednesday, July 9, 2014 10:51 a.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, July 9, 2014 10:55 a.m. CDT
Caption
(Lorae Mundt - editorial@mysuburbanlife.com)
The Firefighters Highland Guard of Naperville Pipe and Drum Band participate in the Downers Grove Fourth of July Parade on Friday.
Caption
(Lorae Mundt - editorial@mysuburbanlife.com)
Lucy, a veteran bomb-sniffing dog from Afghanistan was one of the grand marshals of the Downers Grove Fourth of July parade.
Caption
(Lorae Mundt - editorial@mysuurbanlife.com)
Veterans march down Main Street during the Downers Grove Fourth of July Parade.
Caption
(Lorae Mundt - editorial@mysuburbanlife.com)
Ava Rizzo, 9, from left, Estella Rizzo, 7, Lily Fosco, 11, and Sophia Galian-Sanchez, 5, check out the goodies they received during the Downers Grove Fourth of July Parade.

DOWNERS GROVE – Downers Grove residents enjoyed clear skies, fair weather and several special guests at the annual Fourth of July Parade on Friday.

Vietnam veteran David Sapyta and his Dutch Shepherd, Lucy, herself a veteran bomb-sniffing dog from Afghanistan, led the procession as the grand marshals.

Sapyta, of Downers Grove, served in Vietnam in the 101st Airborne Rangers, earning two Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star. Lucy served five years in Afghanistan, alerting soldiers to land mines or explosive devices by laying down and blocking their path.

They were joined by more than 70 other parade entries, including the Downers Grove Community High School district marching band and the Proviso East marching band. New this year were the Firefighters Highland Guard of Naperville Pipe and drum band.

Also in the parade were a group of more than 10 members of the Downers Grove Community High School class of 1944, which rode on a float donated by Home Depot. The veterans in the class doubled-up on subjects their senior year in order to officially graduate before shipping off to World War II.

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