(Beaver Dam) Hundreds of Wisconsin communities held Memorial Day ceremonies yesterday, to remember fallen military troops. In Beaver Dam, there were several hundred spectators at the Veterans Memorial at Oakwood Cemetery. Combined with the representatives of the various branches of the military, the Beaver Dam High School Band, St Katherine Drexel Band and others presenting during the ceremony, there were well over 300 people on the grounds. The program included an invocation, prayer, readings, a military flyover, raising and lowering of the flag, recognition of veterans lost over the past year and the playing of “Taps.”
Guest speaker, Army Commander Mike Burt of DePere, made note of Taps during his address. Burt says no matter how many ceremonies he has experienced, he has not been able to prepare himself for Taps. He noted the ceremony for fallen comrades while in country is a special one that that family rarely has the opportunity to witness. During Monday’s ceremony they called out the names of the departed before declaring them absent. As they laid the poppies, Burt said he thought about those he lost during his deployment.
Burt has 15 years of service, in both active and reserve, with deployments to Operation Desert Storm in 1991 and Operations Iraqi Freedom from 2004 to 2005. He is the son, father and husband of veterans. Between them all they have served 48 months of combat in Iraq. In his house, Burt says, every day is Veterans Day and every day is Memorial Day. He wears a bracelet on his wrist every day to remember a friend whose remains were not found for four years. Burt says the bracelet is to remind him that he still has a mission to carry on. Families still mourn, he says, and Memorial Day is to celebrate those who lived and those who served.
Listen to the ceremony here:
Watch the ceremony here: