Traveling Memorial Comes to Rothschild

Just in time for Memorial Day, a tribute to Wisconsin residents who've made the ultimate sacrifice for our country comes to the Wausau area.

The exhibit is called The Wisconsin Wall of Honor and its theme is "Remembering Our Fallen".

The memorial honors the 132 members of the military from Wisconsin who have died since 9/11 in Afghanistan, Iraq and Kuwait.

The exhibit is more than 60 feet long and shows a series of pictures the men and women we've lost.

Julian Sonnentag, Commander of the American Legion Post 492 from Rothschild, lost a son in the service. He says, "If that's one of your children or your niece or nephew and you can see the people come over here and break down. If my son were on this wall, I would. He was my only son. He was a good one."

Mike Jilek of Wausau was part of the welcome ceremony Wednesday morning. After seeing the memorial once, he said he had to come back to show his son and grandson. He says the memorial sends a message to the younger generation.

"To see people that are their age are already killed, sacrificing their life so that they can have their freedom of religion, freedom of education, freedom of speech... These men gave their life, so that we can have that," Jilek says.

In addition to honoring the fallen Wisconsin men and women, the memorial is also a fundraiser for the Gold Star Mothers Memorial, which consists of a statue and a paved plaza for Veterans Memorial park in Rothschild. Gold Star mothers are women who have lost sons or daughters in the service.

The traveling memorial will be on display at the Patriot Center through Sunday. The cost is free, but donations are very much appreciated. All the money raised goes directly towards the Gold Star Mothers Memorial, which organizers hope to make a reality by Veteran's Day.

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