WAUWATOSA — Many kids and teens will spend the Memorial Day weekend watching TV or messing around on their smartphone. However, one group of “Young Marines” spent Saturday, May 26th in a pair of cemeteries. They paid tribute to Wisconsin soldiers who died serving their country.
The group put down about 150 crosses at the Pinelawn Memorial Park. Each cross had the name of a soldier who died in Iraq or Afghanistan. Squad leader Sheryl Briley says it’s important the group understands the ultimate sacrifice so many people have made.
“It’s really nice to see young people nowadays actually wanting to participate in these events and wanting to learn about this because so much of society, at least our younger society, seems to be disconnected from that,” Briley said.
Vietnam veteran Bob Brurok heard about the small event and walked over from his nearby house. He even offered to help the Young Marines nail down the crosses.
“The people that didn’t come home are the heroes. I just want to make sure we don’t forget about them, that they are remembered as they should be,” Brurok said.
Just two miles to the west, 1,500 flags waved in an annual tribute at the Wisconsin Memorial Park. Workers spent four hours putting in the flags with the help of local Boy Scouts.
Briley says the weekend of service is encouraging as it forces the young people to think about how they got the luxuries they have today.
“Maybe, just maybe, this might also remind everyone out there that there were quite a few sacrifices from the state of Wisconsin,” Briley said.