Families reflect on Memorial Day at veterans cemetery in Union Grove

Posted at 12:45 PM, May 29, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-29 13:45:17-04

Many families spent the Memorial Day holiday reflecting and taking time to visit loved ones at the Southern Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Union Grove. 

For Priscilla Stephans, it was the first Memorial Day after her husband died. 

"When he's not here, it's like he's on one of his hunting trips or fishing trips and this time he's not coming back," she said. 

Lee Stephans died suddenly in September, 2017. He served in the U.S. Army as a paratrooper and spent a year in Vietnam. 

An injury he received there earned him a Purple Heart. 

"I wanted to honor him and let him know that he's not forgotten," said Priscilla. 

She says Lee was drafted when they first started dating, and she waited for him to return. This March would have been their 50th wedding anniversary. 

On Memorial Day, she placed fresh lilacs on his grave - Lee's favorite flower. 

"I just told him how much I miss him and wish he was here," she said. 

While this is Priscilla's first Memorial Day without her husband, the Boston family joined together in a different part of the cemetery and say it's a tradition for them to visit every year on the holiday. 

"We laugh about old times," said Geanette Young, who gathered with her siblings at the grave of their parents. 

Their father, Willie Boston Sr. served in World War II. Their mother Ermor is buried with her husband. 

"We come and stay for awhile, take pictures and stuff, relax, talk to them," said Young. "Tell them we miss them." 

The cemetery also held a special Memorial Day Service at 11 a.m. Monday. An American flag was placed on each grave, and will remain there for 10 days.