World War II Monument to be Dedicated in Leesburg

Image taken from press release of monument dedication

LEESBURG, Fla – A World War II monument will be dedicated at Veteran’s Memorial Park in Leesburg on Saturday, November 4.

This event will honor local World War II veterans. Among the honored guests will be area veterans Priscilla “Pat” (Morrison) Getchell of Umatilla and Irving Locker of The Villages.

Getchell trained Navy pilots during World War II using the military’s earliest flight instrument trainers. Getchell answered the nation’s call to serve in the Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Services, better known as WAVES, a year after the attack on Pearl Harbor.


Locker landed on D-Day and fought in the Battle of the Bulge. He participated in five major battles in Europe and will bring his collection of WWII memorabilia along with his first-hand accounts of the war to the ceremony.

The monument will be in sections with the largest part measuring 15 feet long by 6 feet high. It will feature images and information tracing America’s history in World War II from Pearl Harbor to the Japanese surrender on board the USS Missouri.

In addition, four smaller memorials will honor female WWII veterans and factory workers who rendered support stateside.

World War II and Korean War veteran Don Van Beck designed the memorial. Van Beck was inspired when school children visited the Veteran’s Memorial Park to view the Vietnam War Huey helicopter and he noticed that there was no WWII monument.

The public and the press are invited to the dedication ceremony of the monument.

For more information about this and other monuments located in the Veteran’s Memorial Park, contact Lake Veterans at (352) 314-2100 or via email at