Education Programs

The War Memorial Center provides a variety of internal and outreach programs that offer unique opportunities for students and Wisconsin residents to learn about patriotism, history, and the accomplishments of our veterans. The WMC is Wisconsin’s most visible memorial to all those who have served in the U.S. Armed Services, and is committed to furthering a single, solemn mission: “Honor the Dead — Serve the Living”

9/11 Memorial

Students learn about this very special memorial and the emotional journey of two local men who drove out to New York City just before the 10th anniversary of 9/11 to pick up the piece of 9/11 Steel that is the focal point of our memorial.

Duration 1 hour

Recommended for: 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, College, Community

Leadership Academy for Girls

This new program was designed particularly for girls in middle and high school and features Milwaukee women who have served or are currently serving in the U.S. military. These women will share their service stories and the leadership skills they learned through their service.

Duration 2 hours

Recommended for: 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th

Mail Call

Read authentic letters sent from and to Milwaukee soldiers. Learn about the history of Victory Mail, how mail was delivered, war-time censorship, and the impact on morale during war time. Students will also have an opportunity to write their own letters to Wisconsin-based soldiers serving overseas.

Duration 1.5 hours

Recommended for: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, College, Community

Marines at War

Meet three combat marines who served in different wars – WWII, Vietnam and Desert Storm – and learn the differences and similarities between their military experience.

Duration 1 hour

Recommended for: 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, College, Community

Milwaukee’s Civil War Burial Sites

Two local history detectives share their 20-year research on the Civil War veterans buried in Milwaukee’s cemeteries.

Duration 1 hour

Recommended for: 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, College, Community

Milwaukee’s Generals

Students learn about two of the most illustrious characters in U.S. military history – both Milwaukee natives: General Douglas MacArthur and General Billy Mitchell.

Duration 1 hour

Recommended for: 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, College, Community

Old Abe/Raptors

Each year, more than 1,000 students come to the War Memorial Center to learn about the history of Wisconsin’s famous Civil War eagle mascot and daily life of a soldier serving in Wisconsin’s 2nd Volunteer Infantry Regiment, as told by a Civil War re-enactor. Then students get to meet four live Schlitz Audubon Society raptors – one of which flies during the program. This program is held only twice a year, in the fall and spring. Space is limited.

Duration 2 hours

Recommended for: 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th

Skype a Soldier

Students learn about a current military conflict through information on strategy, geography and logistics, then video chat with a Wisconsin soldier who is deployed overseas.

Duration 1.5 hours

Recommended for: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, College, Community

Southeastern Wisconsin Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Explore this memorial located in Veterans Park. This presentation includes the background on the memorial and an overview of the Vietnam War, plus students will learn about the Milwaukee County men and women who served there.

Duration 1.5 hours

Recommended for: 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, College, Community

Stories in Resilience: Lance P. Sijan

In this new joint War Memorial Center/Milwaukee Art Museum program, students spend 45 minutes at WMC and 45 minutes at MAM. The War Memorial Center program focuses on the story of Lance Peter Sijan, an MPS graduate who was killed in Vietnam and was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor, the U.S. military’s highest award. With Capt. Sijan’s story as a basis, students will learn about many of the memorials on our campus and they will receive a commemorative Lance Sijan trading card. Reservations must be made through the Milwaukee Art Museum. Learn more and reserve here:

Duration 45 minutes (total program with MAM tour: 1.5 hours)

Recommended for: 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th

The Combat Experience

Students learn about the service experience by handling and trying on authentic and high-quality reproduction military uniforms and equipment from the Civil War, WWI, WWII, Korean War, Vietnam War and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Students can also learn about particular combat jobs including infantry, artillery, special forces, aviation, medical support, communications, etc. Related research projects help students further explore particular wars.

Duration 1 hour

Recommended for: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, College, Community

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

Through the work of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, students learn about the history of the Milwaukee Harbor, authorized by the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1852. Topics include the building of the breakwaters, piers, channels and bridges that comprise the harbor, plus other work conducted by the Army Corps of Engineers.

Duration 1 hour

Recommended for: 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, College, Community

Tours

Visitors will learn about our landmark building and the memorials that honor those who have served. Learn more.

Duration 45 minutes - 1 hour

Recommended for: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, College, Community

U.S. Military 101

Learn about each of the branches of the U.S. military, including ranks, terminology, bases, famous battles and the Milwaukee County men and women who served in them. Through our amazing collection of 70 carved wooden figures, students get the chance to see the evolution of U.S. military uniforms and equipment from the 1700s to a soldier serving in Baghdad in 2006.

Duration 1 hour

Recommended for: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th

USS Milwaukee

Learn about the five ships named USS Milwaukee and their roles in war and peacetime.

Duration 45 minutes

Recommended for: 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, College, Community

Veterans Story Project

Through our online video interviews with local veterans, students learn about the service experience from the men and women who served our country. After doing background research on the veterans and their battles, students will get the chance to meet that veteran in person.

Duration 1 hour

Recommended for: 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, College, Community

War Dogs (with film)

Students learn about the contributions of America’s “unsung heroes” – the dogs that have served in the United States military. Students get a first-hand account from a U.S. military veteran about how dogs are trained, the types of war-time duties they perform, the risks they face and their relationship with their handlers. The program also features other dog handlers and members of War Dogs Milwaukee, who bring their own dogs and talk about the breeds that are best suited to the combat experience. At the end of the program, the students have the chance to pet the dogs and ask their handlers questions. New this year for high school students: This program is combined with the film Meagan Leavy (PG-13), which is based on the true story of a female Marine who served in a military canine unit in Iraq.

Duration 3 hours

Recommended for: 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th

War Dogs (without film)

Each year, more than 1,000 students come to the War Memorial Center to learn about the history of Wisconsin’s famous Civil War eagle mascot and daily life of a soldier serving in Wisconsin’s 2nd Volunteer Infantry Regiment, as told by a Civil War re-enactor. Then students get to meet four live Schlitz Audubon Society raptors – one of which flies during the program. This program is held only twice a year, in the fall and spring. Space is limited.

Duration 1 hour

Recommended for: 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th

War Posters

Students explore the War Memorial Center’s collection of 75 original WWI and WWII war posters and learn about the history and purpose of them, along with the issuing agencies, themes, messages, and the emotions they evoke.

Duration 1 hour

Recommended for: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, College, Community

Women in War

Local female veterans talk about their service experience in the WWII and the wars in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan. Topics include training, job duties, career options and leadership.

Duration 1 hour

Recommended for: 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, College, Community

Take a tour!

The War Memorial Center is the perfect destination for schools and organizations to learn about the sacrifices of Wisconsin’s Veterans. We offer self-guided tours, or, for groups of 10 or more, we provide a WMC guide to lead you through the facilities.

Plan a program!

We offer standards-based educational opportunities for your students, planned with you around your unit of study and curriculum. We also invite school groups to utilize our venue as a site for appropriately themed programs and performances.

Support our mission to honor the dead – serve the living

Milwaukee County War Memorial Center
750 N. Lincoln Memorial Drive
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202
(414) 273-5533