Memorial Day observances at the Milwaukee VA begin May 28 with an 8:15 a.m. Catholic Mass at the medical center’s chapel inside the main hospital. The ceremony in Wood National Cemetery, near the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors Monument, begins at 9:10 a.m. with music from the American Legion Band.
Disabled American Veterans drivers will circle the VA campus and pick up those who have difficulty getting to the ceremony.
This year’s guest speaker is the Rev. Carl Krueger, a Desert Storm Veteran and member of the Wisconsin Board of Veterans Affairs. Krueger joined the Wisconsin Air National Guard’s 128th Air Refueling Wing as a chaplain in 1984 and retired as a lieutenant colonel in 2004. His military deployments include Japan, Germany, Italy, France and England.
His chaplaincy included ministry to friends and colleagues of six Air National Guardsmen killed in a KC-135 explosion in 1993 at the Milwaukee Airport.
Our master of ceremonies is Dr. Mike McBride, a Navy commander in the Naval Reserves who has deployed four times to Iraq and Afghanistan.
This year’s Memorial Day ceremony is honoring “Taps,” which is 150 years old. The haunting music is often played at military observances in remembrance of those who have passed.
This year’s observance will also feature re-enactors from the War of 1812, Civil War, Korean War, World War II, Iraq and Afghanistan telling personal stories of those who are buried in the cemetery.
The one-hour event will also include a commemorative Air Force flyover, presentation of wreaths, raising of the POW/MIA flag by the Wisconsin Vietnam Veterans, Echo Taps, a 21-gun salute, and the release of doves.
Refreshments will be served after the ceremony in the Matousek Auditorium inside the medical center.
If an organization wishes to place a wreath at the event, call Candy Kavanaugh at 414-384-2000, ext. 42333.
For directions and more on Wood National Cemetery, click here.