Memorial Day: Honoring vets at the Wood National Cemetery in Milwaukee

MILWAUKEE -- Many people are heading to pools and barbeques for the Memorial Day weekend but the meaning behind the holiday represents more than a day off work for many in the Milwaukee area.

Memorial Day means so much to so many people and as the holiday approaches some, like Colin Sandell are doing small gestures to honor those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

"I come down here every Memorial Day Weekend," Sandell said. "They deserve it."

He spent two hours Saturday morning at the Wood National Cemetery straightening out the flags on dozens of graves.

"I started doing this with my sons when they were younger," he said.

A Cold War army veteran himself, Sandell says he always feels the loss when remembering fellow soldiers especially his friend Captain Andrew Kirchmayer who was killed in action in Vietnam in 1969.

"It's all about the veterans, again it's not a celebration of war it's a memorial to the men who died in the war or who've died after serving in the military," Sandell said.

So before you enjoy your extended weekend Sandell wants you to remember the reason behind the holiday.

Barbara Lyannas also stopped by her father Joseph Capol's gravesite Saturday morning.

"He was in World War II," she said. "I left a cross with Red, White and Blue Flowers."

She wanted to decorate his grave amongst the tens of thousands of graves at the cemetery

"I will always honor the gentlemen and the women that are in the service that are fighting for us, they're keeping the United States free," Lyannas said.

Just a fun fact before 1971 Memorial Day was called Decoration Day.

Print this article Back to Top