Honoring Memorial Day in La Crosse County

“I served overseas, in the Navy and as a Navy Seabee, and lost three friends in 2006, so I remember them today,” said Bob Marconi, the La Crosse Council Navy President.

For all veterans, family and friends, today is a day of paying homage.

“I’ve had three uncles that fought in wars, and all of them are gone, so they’re on my mind today and there’s many other veterans also,” said Vern Tranberg, American Legion Post 51 Commander.

“Personally it’s important to honor both my grandfathers, served in World War II, my father and two of my uncles served in Vietnam, my husband is also a marine,” said Nicole Vidal, who is the American Legion Unit 51 President.

It’s about taking the time to think about some of America’s core values.

“It’s good for us to pause… and remember why and who made this all possible,” said Vidal.

“People don’t really realize how much freedom that we do have, but across the world many people that don’t have those freedoms, aren’t free to travel about their country, aren’t free to speak their mind, we have so many great freedoms here and those freedoms did come at a cost,” said Marconi.

Even though some of these Veterans are gone, their presence continues to be felt.

“Even if it wasn’t sunny, I would have my sunglasses on. I get a little teary-eyed at ceremonies like this. I go and visit their graves, and make sure their flags are there and their grave stones are cleaned off and just remember. Not only were they great soldiers and great Americans, they were great role models for me, and my child, my daughter,” said Vidal.

American Legion Post 51 members hosted a shortened version of their Memorial Day program at the Veterans Memorial in West Salem’s Village Park today.

The La Crosse Navy League put together a video in remembrance. You can watch the full Memorial Day video on the La Crosse Navy League Facebook page.