Milwaukee County War Memorial

National Poppy Day

Poppies on MemorialLast month, I addressed “the war to end all wars,” otherwise known as World War I. I also mentioned that some important changes came from the horror of the world’s first truly global conflict. Unless you are a military historian of some level, you might not know of these benefits. But there is also one thing that grew from the war that most Americans and Europeans can recognize — the poppy.

After WWI, the poppy grew in popularity in Europe as a symbol of the service and sacrifice of all who fought in the war. Soldiers from all countries carried the flowers back home in memory of the war ravaged fields where the red poppies were now growing in abundance.

Here at home, National Poppy Day, an annual event held by The American Legion to honor our veterans, will take place on May 26th. The Legion adopted the poppy as its official flower and sells them each year to raise funds which are used to support the armed forces community in various ways. They repeat this effort around Veterans Day as well. If you really want to honor a vet, buy a poppy. Our groups are doing great things for vets with those funds.

New MacArthur Exhibit

MacArthur ExhibitOn April 26, 2017, the War Memorial Center proudly presented its latest display: The General of the Army Douglas MacArthur Exhibit. The idea was presented more than a year ago by Charles Mulcahy, a former Chairman of the WMC Board of Trustees, and the Veterans Community Relations Team (VCRT). The exhibit consists of handsome plaques creatively aligned on the wall that tell the General’s story from his days in Milwaukee as a teen, to his role in WWII, and his post-war role in Japan.

While the display cleverly summarizes a few important pages in the life of this icon of American military history, a large flat-screen and a digital video library in the center of it all tells the rest of the story. Then visit the General’s statue just outside the north side entrance. These displays alone are worth the trip to the War Memorial Center.

We are proud to present this important addition to the WMC experience and we invite our vets, citizens, and students to visit sometime soon. The War Memorial Board and staff thank Mr. Mulcahy and the VCRT for this generous gift. With this addition, the renovated glass enclosed staircase, and other enhancements that are on the way, it supports what I have been saying for quite a while: “You ain’t seen nothing, yet!”

Come visit your new War Memorial Center soon!

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