Post office in downtown Leesburg dedicated to WWII vets, community advocates

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U.S. Representative Jennifer Wexton (D-VA-10) and Leesburg Postmaster Timothy Lloyd officially rededicated the Downtown Station Post Office today as the Norman Duncan Building.

The action was approved by Congress in December 2020 to honor the World War II veteran and longtime Loudoun County community advocate, who died in 2019 at age 100, but the name change has been delayed by the pandemic.

“It’s almost silly for me to talk about who Norman Duncan was, because it seems almost everyone in Loudoun knew Norman,” said Wexton, who sponsored the legislation.

She noted that he was a staple at veterans‘ events and a tireless advocate for family caregivers, inspired by his own experiences caring for his wife, Elsie, as Alzheimer’s took hold. Her advocacy resulted in the declaration of an annual Labor of Love weekend in Loudoun County to celebrate caregivers.

“He was not just a community hero, but a personal hero to so many who interacted with him,” Wexton said.

She said he was driven by a deep concern for others.

“You could never say no to Norman. In fact, you couldn’t even say “well, you see”. He was one of the most persistent people I’ve ever met in Richmond or here in Loudoun, Wexton said. “Although Norman never asked for praise or recognition for his work, his service deserves to be celebrated.”

Duncan’s daughter, Patricia “Tina” Barden, recounted her father’s military and public service, noting that even at age 100 he was active with email contacting community leaders.

The son of Jewish immigrants was drafted into the army and was responsible for logistics and supply at US bases in the UK, and supported Operation Torch in North Africa and Operation Overlord in Normandy, France.

“He was a loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, but above all he was a proud American. He would be so proud of this honor today,” she said. declared.

Twice in his later years, Duncan traveled to Normandy to participate in ceremonies honoring servicemen who liberated France from Nazi occupation.

In 2019, for the 75e D-Day anniversary, Richard Ryan accompanied Duncan on the two-week trip and marveled at the rock star, celebrity treatment the veterans received. On that trip, Duncan sat front row at the memorial ceremony, meeting President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel — and landing a kiss on Macron’s wife Brigitte Trogneux’s check — just months before. his death.

“I hope people who walk in there, who turn and look and see ‘Norman Duncan’ are curious and say ‘who was that man?’ And maybe they will find out who this wonderful man was. Then Norman will continue in our lives – his charity to all, his friendship to so many people – and we will remember him when we go to the post office as well,” said Ryan.

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