LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) – In celebration of Memorial Day, La Crosse held a parade through the city's downtown, where residents and members across all branches of the military paid tribute to those who have served, are serving, or soon will serve the country—as it is a day to remember those who have served, and those who continue to serve.
Michael Cunningham, 17, has always felt a call to the military. “I’ve had the strong desire and I feel it is very honorable and I’m willing to make that sacrifice. Someone has to do it and I’m willing,” Cunningham said.
On June 26th, the recent Aquinas High School graduate will be leaving for the Air Force Academy. “That’s just the most honorable thing one can do is to lay down their life so you don’t have to,” Cunningham said.
On Memorial Day, Cunningham and other military members, stressed the importance of paying homage to the fallen.
“Everyone should take some time out of their Memorial Day weekend to remember those who gave them the privilege of having this time so that they can enjoy themselves and have the freedom that other countries don’t have,” Naval Reserves Master Chief Bob Marconi said.
“Be thankful for what we have here, and don’t forget the ones that have made the ultimate sacrifice,” UW-La Crosse Assistant Professor of Military Science Capt. Chris Pendleton said.
Cunningham said Memorial Day is a day which many may not think about, but a day which people should always keep in mind. “They (military) are doing it for you. Whether or not you recognize that, whether they know you or not, they do it for every American,” Cunningham said.
Monday’s festivities finished with a couple of ceremonies at Oak Grove Cemetery and Riverside Park. Along the Mississippi River at Riverside Park, members from the Naval Reserves laid wreathes in the river, to honor those who have sacrificed their lives at sea.
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