Wisconsin Veterans Museum holds virtual Memorial Day ceremony

Published: May. 25, 2020 at 10:03 AM CDT
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Memorial Day services and ceremonies may look different this year due to coronavirus, but that doesn’t mean people can’t take a moment to reflect and honor the brave men and women who gave their lives for the country - virtually.

While some gatherings that would typically take place in person such as memorials at cemeteries may not be happening this year because of the pandemic, the Wisconsin Veterans Museum is bringing the ceremony to you, by posting a virtual ceremony.

In the video posted to the museum’s website, Governor Tony Evers and Mary Kolar, Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs, pay tribute to our fallen heroes. The governor holds a moment of silence in the video, and on behalf of the state of Wisconsin, said he shared heartfelt gratitude.

"We owe so much to the countless heroes who have given their lives in our nation's wars,” he said. “Let us continue to honor their mark on history and their sacrifice for our nation's future. Today we think of them, their families, and loved ones.”

Kolar said people can still pay their respects in their own way at home, and suggested flying a flag, or lighting a candle.

“Today we recognize the United States service members, the men and women of our military who served our country, who made the ultimate sacrifice,” she said. “While we are unable to gather in person at our state’s veterans cemeteries on this most solemn national holiday, I am grateful for this opportunity to recognize and remember our heroes virtually.”

Also accompanying the virtual ceremony video are additional tributes from Wisconsin politicians, recognizing and honoring those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

State Representative Warren Petryk sang the National Anthem in memory of those who gave their lives in service to the country.

In her tribute, Senator Tammy Baldwin said she is committed to working hard to keep promises to the service men and women and their families.

"On this Memorial Day, we pay tribute to all who served and sacrificed, to protect and defend the American freedoms that we all cherish,” she said. “Today and every day, we hold their families in our hearts. The parents, spouses, children, siblings, and friends who've carried the weight of losing a loved one. Our gold star families are in our prayers as we recognize the price they have paid and the sacrifice they have made in the cause of freedom.”

Senator Ron Johnson also contributed with a video tribute.

“While Memorial Day ceremonies across the country have been cancelled due to the COVID crisis, that in no way diminishes our respect and gratitude for those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country,” said Johnson.

Johnson also touched upon the coronavirus pandemic.

“We are currently fighting a different enemy, and just like those battles of the past, we will overcome this one as well,” he said.

Representative Bryan Steil reflected on those who he said “stood up for liberty at home and abroad” and fought for America and its ideals, adding the country is currently battling “an invisible virus.”

“Today, 75 years after the end of World War II, we are battling an invisible virus,” he said. “Our better days are ahead. We're continuing to make progress in this fight, and we charge through uncharted waters. We will be stronger on the other side, I'm confident of that. We will leverage our shared commitment, American ingenuity, and strength of community.”

For the full video tribute and other video statements from Wisconsin politicians, head to the Wisconsin Veterans Museum website.