Memorial Day

It's Memorial Day, the traditional kickoff to the summer season, but a state Secretary hopes it's a day you take a moment to remember the ultimate sacrifices of the men and women in military service.

Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Daniel Zimmerman says his focus is on the veterans that served, those who didn't make it back, and also on the families of those who served.

He is spending the Memorial Day weekend traveling Wisconsin and talking to veterans, families and the public about the meaning of Memorial Day... 


Memorial Day remembers the people who died serving in the country's armed forces. The holiday is observed every year on the last Monday of May. It originally was known as Decoration Day after the American Civil War in 1868. The Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of Union veterans founded in Decatur, Illinois, established the day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the Union war dead with flowers.

WXPR spoke with Wisconsin's Secretary of Veterans Affairs Daniel Zimmerman about the meaning of Memorial Day....

Wi. Dept. of Veterans Affairs

It's Memorial Day across the United States.

Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day and began to honor the soldiers for the Union and Confederate armies who died during the Civil War.

By the late 19th century, the holiday became known as Memorial Day and was expanded to include the deceased veterans of all the wars fought by American forces. In 1971, Memorial Day became a federal holiday.

John Scocos is the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary. He says Memorial Day is the most solumn of the nation's holidays...

Tourist Season Off to Solid Start

May 29, 2014

Now that Memorial Day weekend is behind us, many businesses are reporting a strong start to the summer tourism season. 

Minocqua Chamber of Commerce Director Kim Baltus says business seems to have been higher than usual for the holiday weekend. 

 “It was definitely up for the businesses that I spoke to.  I talked to a couple of different restaurants that said it was their largest Saturday on Memorial Weekend that they’ve ever had.  Typically Memorial Day is not the best weekend – but we certainly proved that wrong.” 

Veteran Remembers POW Experience

May 26, 2014

This Memorial Day…we hear from veteran Glenn Johnson.

Johnson served as a paratrooper in World War II in the 101st Airborne Division.  He was injured after parachuting into German territory just prior to the Normandy invasion in 1944.  There he was captured and imprisoned for five months.    

Johnson describes how he and two others escaped one day while on a work detail near the border of Germany and Czechoslovakia. 


The unofficial first day of summer is today, but for a local Veterans Service Officer, today is more than just a time to enjoy the day.

Oneida County's V.S.O. is Tammy Walters...


".....I get the picnics, and I get the boating and I get the fun and the unofficial first day of summer, I really do understand that. But gosh,if people would take one minute to think about without those men and women who are brave enough to go to war and fight for our freedoms. I think they would be truly amazed if they thought about it...."