Hundreds of people took time out of their Memorial Day holiday this morning to remember why this day was set aside, as they attended ceremonies at the Wisconsin Veteran’s Home in King. American flags adorned each grave site, and speakers told of the sacrifices made by service men and women to provide for our freedom.
Al Richards, chairman of the Wisconsin Board of Veteran’s Affairs, gave the keynote address. Richards is a veteran of the Vietnam War (serving from 1966-1969). He says he recently gathered with several of his squadron members, recalling memories of his time being wounded in combat. “Seeing my buddies lying there on that hard, dirt floor wrapped in plastic bags with zippers on them, well they just can’t train you for something like that.”
Richards says while millions of Americans are enamored with shows like American Idol and Dancing with the Stars, the real stars are those who never came home from combat. “Remembering our fallen once a year is not enough. The widows, widowers, fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, children remember every single day.”
Richards says in each generation, brave men and women step forward, willing to fight, and if necessary, die for our freedom.
Richards was awarded two Purple Hearts.
AUDIO: Jack Barry report 1:47