South Shore communities have Memorial Day on their mind for the holiday weekend, including one that also marks a milestone anniversary for a memorial plaza honoring all veterans.
The following are events are planned for Monday, May 29.
The Cudahy War Memorial and the city of Cudahy will join in a Memorial Day program that this year will include a Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War, an ongoing 13-year recognition.
The program begins at 10:30 a.m. at the war memorial site at the corner of Layton Avenue and Lake Drive.
During the event, the war memorial and the city will honor several recipients of the Commemoration of the Vietnam War from the community. In addition, a family member of one of the fallen within our community will also be honored.
Beginning on Memorial Day 2012, the federal government began a partnership program with local government, private organizations, and communities across America to participate in the Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Vietnam War. Cudahy city and memorial officials, through a collaborative partnership, joined in the effort with an application in 2016.
“Upon learning of this program, we instantly applied to be a part of the program in partnership with the City of Cudahy," said Bruce Maresh, president of the Cudahy War Memorial,.
“The Cudahy War Memorial and our community for years has held a great Memorial Day celebration and will expand this year, and in future years, honoring those from the Vietnam Era,” added Cudahy Mayor John Hohenfeldt.
The city of St. Francis will recognize the 25th Anniversary of the Veterans Plaza Memorial at its Memorial Day Ceremony.
The ceremony will be held from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. at the plaza, 4120 S. Nicholson Ave. The program will be followed by a memorial breakfast at the St. Francis Brewery from 10 to 11 a.m. Tickets for breakfast will be handed out at the end of the ceremony.
“This year’s ceremony is of special significance,” said St. Francis Mayor CoryAnn St. Marie-Carls. “We are very proud of our memorial and our committee for being the caretakers of our memorial to those who have given the ultimate sacrifice. I am very grateful for their efforts and encourage everyone to join us May 29.”
Veteran’s Plaza holds the names of 12 St. Francis men who gave the ultimate sacrifice for the nation during World War I, World War II, and the wars in Korea and Vietnam.
This year’s 25th anniversary ceremony will include a community guest book that will be permanently housed at the St. Francis Historical Society. Participants can share their thoughts about what those who served, Veteran’s Plaza, or Memorial Day mean to them in the guest book before or after the ceremony.
The program will begin with the invocation from American Legion Post 27 Chaplain Jim Borland, the singing of the National Anthem by the St. Francis High School Choir, the Pledge of Allegiance by the St. Francis Police Honor Guard, and remarks by St. Marie-Carls.
Colonel Daniel S. Yenchesky, commander of the 128th Air Refueling Wing, will then speak, followed by Jim Duff the Milwaukee County Veteran’s Service Officer. In observance, Kayla Knuth, Miss St. Francis 2017, will recite the names on the Memorial, and the memorial wreath will be placed with the Honor Guard Rifle Detail from Legion Post 27 in South Milwaukee followed by the playing of taps by Nicholas Zbichorski.
The program concludes with vocal selections by the St. Francis High School Choir and benediction by Chaplin Borland.
South Milwaukee will again host a parade and ceremony followed by a luncheon in honor of Memorial Day.
The walkoff for the parade is expected to begin at 10:35 a.m. The parade begins at the American Legion Post 27 Van Eimeren-Kolonka, 920 Monroe Ave., and ends at the war memorial at the T-intersection of Rawson and North Chicago avenues.
A memorial ceremony begins at 11 a.m. at that site. Various speakers have been invited, but the list of those who will speak was not final as of press deadline.
The luncheon follows at Legion after the war memorial event, roughly at noon, and will continue until food runs out, said American Legion 27 Post Commander Raymond Grabowski.
South Milwaukee Veterans Council, involving five local veterans organizations, is involved in the planning of the annual event.