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Veterans Day Program Includes Belated Medal

November 11, 1986

Most military bases will be closed today in observance of Veterans Day, but veteran organizations have scheduled a couple of special events in Orange County.

After a 44-year delay, Wilbrod E. Riopelle, 74, will be honored with a Bronze Star at 8 p.m. in Cypress. Maj. Gen. James D. Delk, commander of the U.S. Army 40th Infantry Division, will present the medal, which apparently had been lost in the Army's bureaucracy.

Riopelle's medal arrived without explanation in the mail last March.

Russ Josenhans, organizer of the ceremonies, said a color guard and other honors are scheduled for Riopelle, who is now disabled after suffering combat wounds in 1942. The ceremony will be held at the Cypress post of the American Legion at 6393 Ball Road.

In Brea, members of the local Veterans of Foreign Wars chapter will raise 850 American flags at Memory Garden Memorial Park at 455 W. Central Ave.

Glenn Benbaer, a spokesman for the Brea memorial, said the flags will line the "Avenue of the Flags" inside the cemetery. Each flag, issued by the U.S. government to families of servicemen killed in combat, bears the name of a fallen serviceman and most will be in alphabetical order. No ceremonies were planned for today; the flags can be seen from 6 a.m. to about 4 p.m.

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