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Page 9
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Veterans Day, Milwaukee

By Bob Riggle

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After the Madison Veterans Day ceremony in the State Capitol rotunda fizzled a few years ago, the Milwaukee Chapter hadn't participated in a Veterans Day ceremony. After the rush to patriotism since September, we felt we needed to do something.

Whether it was a sense of urgency, a need to reassure, or just because it felt necessary at the moment, we hastily put together a program for a Veterans Day observance.

Sunday, November 11 dawned clear and cool, though by 9:30 it had warmed somewhat for the thirty members and guests who attended the event, near the War Memorial's reflecting pool.

Vets Place Central, Milwaukee's shelter for homeless veterans, provided the color guard. The attendees participated in a 21-flower salute, placing flowers in a vase while a bell tolled. In an effort to show unity with local Muslims, we invited a member of the Islamic Society of Milwaukee to give an invocation, though he was not able to attend.

I presented a brief history of Veterans Day. National Officer John Zutz spoke on the status of veterans in society today. County Supervisor Roger Quindel talked about veterans' issues and about his Vietnam experiences. John Gilman, a highly decorated World War II veteran, spoke passionately about injustices suffered by black veterans, and touched on the status of troops in Afghanistan.

At the end of the ceremony, Rich Manson floated a wreath on the reflecting pond, while those in attendance presented arms in a moment of silence. Muriel Hogan concluded the event with an a capella rendition of "The Green Fields of France."



Bob Riggle is the coordinator for VVAW's Milwaukee chapter.

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