La Crosse military members honor the fallen

” You know what they say about rain, it is great training weather, ” joked Sgt. Brandon Graham of the US Army.

The weather wasn’t cooperative for Memorial Day this year, limiting the parade downtown, and canceling ceremonies at Oak Grove Cemetery and Riverside Park.

” We typically have a parade at Riverside Park, honoring those especially who died at sea, ” explained President of the La Crosse Council of the Navy League, Bob Marconi.

But that didn’t stop local military members and their families from honoring those who had fallen by relocating to an indoor ceremony.

” It’s really important that we remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice, ” explained Marconi.

Marconi wanted to host an event honoring those who had fallen no matter the circumstances, as he can remember a time when the country did not honor its veterans as well.

” We kind of learned our lesson from Vietnam era vets who weren’t treated very well when they came home, but we do a much better job as a nation in honoring our vets. It’s important to us as a country to remember that because we have a lot of freedoms, and it didn’t come free, it comes at a cost, and they paid the ultimate price. ”

Those at the event stressed that honoring those who had fallen should not be reserved to one day.

” One can read and understand, gain a more in depth picture of what sacrifice means to them and those individuals who sacrificed for their country, ” explained Graham.

“Having the flag on display, thanking veterans for their service are things that can be done every day,” added Marconi.

And those involved were happy to be able to thank those before them, despite less than ideal conditions.

” You adapt and overcome, ” concluded Graham.

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