‘Freedom isn’t free:’ Calvary Cemetery honors fallen soldiers, takes those gathered back in time

MILWAUKEE -- Hundreds of people took a step back in time at Calvary Cemetery on Monday, May 28 -- Memorial Day.

Memorial Day ceremony at Calvary Cemetery

"It doesn't matter if you're dressed like this or not -- you're still here for the same reason. And that is to honor what those before you have done to protect this country," said Erik Theissen, a Civil War re-enactor.

He is one of many re-enactors who gathered for a Memorial Day Mass and remembrance ceremony.

"It's important to actually honor those who have fallen. We have to remember that freedom isn't free," said Stephanie Grisham, a spectator.

Memorial Day ceremony at Calvary Cemetery

The re-enactors, dressed in Civil War-era attire, played music, gave speeches and fired their weapons to pay their respects to soldiers buried at Calvary.

Memorial Day ceremony at Calvary Cemetery

"What they display here, this is old history. It really is amazing that they put this event on for us," said Dean Locke, a spectator.

"You'll see a service like this and you might find a number of people throughout the day with tears in their eyes," Theissen said.

While many spent their holiday with family and friends, those at Calvary say it is important to keep the day's purpose in the forefront.

Memorial Day ceremony at Calvary Cemetery

Memorial Day ceremony at Calvary Cemetery

"Well, you know, I love to barbecue and go out and have drinks as well. But I think that it's important that we take the time to really pay respect to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for us," Grisham said.

During the day's ceremony. speakers took time to acknowledge the two Medal of Honor recipients buried at Calvary Cemetery -- along with more than 500 Civil War veterans.

Memorial Day ceremony at Calvary Cemetery