Hundreds pay tribute to veterans at Memorial Day ceremonies in La Crosse

Attendees say it's a time to remember those who have died and honor those who are serving

Thousands across the country are celebrating Memorial Day by honoring those who have made the ultimate sacrifice to protect our country.

In La Crosse that included the annual parade through the city.      

Parade goers lined the streets to remember those who have died and honor those who are still serving.     

This year’s parade marshall said the parade is a way for members of the military and civilians to show their support.

“That’s the meaning of the day, for the community to come together and pay our respects to our fallen heroes. We have brothers and sisters who go off into battle and they don’t come home. But really it’s a chance for them to pay their respects as well,” said Maj. Chris Pendleton, Honorary Parade Marshall.

The parade ended with a ceremony at Oak Grove cemetery in La Crosse. The event included music from the Logan High School band and students reciting famous speeches honoring the sacrifices made by soldiers, including the Gettysburg Address.

The pastor who gave the ceremony’s invocation said Memorial Day creates a bond between people of all generations.

“People came together. Families who had young people, elders who served in the armed services, to say thank you for all that they have done in the service to protect our country, to try to create peace in the world and our nation. And so it was just a magnificent experience,” said Pastor Ted DeWald.

There was also a ceremony held at Riverside Park in La Crosse.      

Members of the community joined Korean War veterans, members from the American Legion Post 52 and members of the Disabled Veterans of America for the event.

The Legion’s firing squad honored those who have fallen with a salute.

Navy mothers also placed wreaths in the river as part of the event to memorialize naval officers who were killed in action.