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TOUR THE WAR MEMORIAL WITH YOUR PHONE.

Building

Building Significance & History

The WMC is the focal point for various veteran, patriotic, cultural, art, and educational activities. It was born out of the collective vision of the Zonta, Altrusa, Business and Professional Women’s Club, and the Milwaukee Civic Alliance to create a fitting memorial to honor the War Dead of WWII.

West Facade Mosaic Mural

Unveiled on Veterans Day 1959, the 1,440,000-piece mosaic features Roman numerals representing the commencement and end dates for World War II and the Korean Conflict.

Valor Promenade

18 Flags

Lining both sides of “Gary G. Wetzel Medal of Honor Way,” (Mason Street), are 18 flag standards that commemorate the patriotic ideals of the WMC. The names on the plaques honor the 18 veteran organizations and individual donors.

Abraham Lincoln Statue

The statue of Abraham Lincoln on the West side of the War Memorial Center is a true work of art. Dedicated in 1934 and re-dedicated on Labor Day 1986, the 10’6″ bronze statue was sculpted by American artist Gaetano Cecere (1894-1985), He was commissioned to do the work with pennies collected by area school children.

Gary G. Wetzel Medal of Honor Way and Marker

Honor South Milwaukee native and Medal of Honor Recipient Gary George Wetzel for his heroism in the Vietnam War.

Lincoln Memorial Bridge

Connecting downtown Milwaukee to the WMC, the “present” Lincoln Memorial Bridge was dedicated on May 13, 1983. On the bridge promenade stands the pole which was raised on the old Lincoln Memorial Bridge in 1957.

West Facade Mosaic Mural

Unveiled on Veterans Day 1959, the 1,440,000-piece mosaic features Roman numerals representing the commencement and end dates for World War II and the Korean Conflict.

Veterans Courtyard

Honor Roll & Eternal Flame Memorial

An eternal flame illuminates a black-granite Honor Roll listing Milwaukee County’s 3,481 war dead since World War II, the wars in Korean and Vietnam and those related to the Global War on Terrorism.

MacArthur Quote at Honor Roll & Eternal Flame Memorial

Ring of Honor

The black-granite ring in the center of Veterans Courtyard represents the never-ending commitment of our men and women in the military. The Ring of Honor lists all the Department of Defense-recognized conflicts American troops have fought in since World War I, including the so-called low-intensity conflicts that have called on the service and sacrifice of our veterans through the years.

WWI and Revolutionary War Memorials

Purple Heart Memorial

As a tribute to the servicemen and women who have been awarded this honor, a committee was formed in 2007 with the goal of erecting a Purple Heart Memorial on the grounds of the War Memorial Center.

Gold Star Family Memorial

Honoring the sacrifice of the families who have lost an immediate family member in service to our country.

Operation Iraqi Freedom Memorial

Privately funded by the Runzheimer Foundation, the Operation Iraqi Freedom Monument is dedicated to the Marines of Fox Company, who were killed in action during the Iraq War.

Fitch Plaza

A Cooperative project between the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewage District, Milwaukee Art Museum, and the WMC, the purpose of a green roof is to manage water where it falls, thereby diminishing the risk of sewer overflows and improving the overall water quality in the region.

Lower Level I

The Freedom Mural

Located in Freedom Hall, and dedicated in 2011, the Freedom Mural was created by the 5th Grade students from Forrest Home Avenue and Anna F. Doerfler Schools.

Lower Level II

Medal of Honor

Come see our new exhibit honoring the 64 Wisconsin soldiers who earned the Medal of Honor. You can listen and watch each soldier’s story by clicking on their name at our Kiosk.

Veterans Gallery

9/11 Memorial

The 9/11 Memorial features a World Trade Center I-beam recovered from Ground Zero. The 1,566 pound artifact is a reminder of that tragic day in American history— the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks that killed 2,996 people.

Commemorative Plaques

Numerous commemorative plaques in the gallery recognize the contributions of many, in service to all. Plaques and displays are exhibited or added as deemed appropriate by the Veterans Board of Directors selection committee.

3rd Floor

Zigman War Poster Collection

AN INCREDIBLE COLLECTION OF ORIGINAL, FULLY-RESTORED AMERICAN, BRITISH AND FRENCH WWI AND WWII POSTERS ARE ON DISPLAY ON THE THIRD AND FOURTH FLOORS OF THE WAR MEMORIAL CENTER.

“A True Soldier”

Located on the 3rd floor, the image of a soldier and child walking hand in hand with the quote: “The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.” -G.K. Chesterton

African American Exhibit

Located on the 3rd floor, the African American Veterans Memorial exhibit represents the contributions, service, and sacrifice, made, and continue to make, for our county.

Medal of Honor Vocabulary

Located on the 3rd floor, the Medal of Honor is the United States’ highest award for military valor in action. And while over 150 years have passed since its inception, the meaning behind the Medal has never tarnished. Etched within are the very values that each Recipient displayed in the moments that mattered—courage, service, commitment, excellence, duty, respect, and honor. A deep love of country and a desire to always do what is right.

4th Floor

Missing Man Table

The POW/MIA table: A place setting for one. A table for all.

Zigman War Poster Collection

AN INCREDIBLE COLLECTION OF ORIGINAL, FULLY-RESTORED AMERICAN, BRITISH AND FRENCH WWI AND WWII POSTERS ARE ON DISPLAY ON THE THIRD AND FOURTH FLOORS OF THE WAR MEMORIAL CENTER.

Japan’s Surrender to MacArthur

Located on the 4th floor of the WMC, this painting depicts an early Sunday morning on September 2, 1945, aboard the new 45,000-ton battleship U.S.S. Missouri and before representatives of nine Allied nations, where the Japanese signed their surrender.

Korean War: No Longer Forgotten

Located on the 4th floor of the WMC, you will find images and posters where you can learn about the many phases of the Korean War. This set of 15 Korean War Posters was produced and distributed by the Department of Defense to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Korean War.

Latino Veterans’ Legacy of Valor

Located on the 4th floor of the WMC, you will find the exhibit telling how Wisconsin’s Latino veterans have risen to the call of duty in defense of liberty and freedom. Organized by the American GI Forum, the Milwaukee Latino Community, and the WMC, this promises to be an important legacy for all.

Veterans Park

Southeastern Wisconsin Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Dedicated on October 20, 1991, this moving memorial has become the focal point of Veterans Park at
Milwaukee’s Lakefront. Three Wausau Red Granite represent those killed in action, prisoners of war/missing in action, and those who returned home.
Commemorative bricks are available for purchase HERE.

MacArthur Statue

The General MacArthur statue was relocated from its lonely home in MacArthur Square just east of the Milwaukee County Courthouse to its current location in Veterans Park in 2014.