Green Bay Area Remembrance Day ceremonies return in person this year

GREEN BAY – Residents of the Green Bay area will be able to return to Memorial Day ceremonies on Monday, a year after the coronavirus pandemic forced veteran groups to cancel events or virtually honor deceased service members.

Volunteers have been busy this week placing flags at veterans’ graves in Green Bay area cemeteries ahead of in-person events scheduled for Monday. A statewide commemoration of the holiday, however, will remain virtual.

Memorial Day is a day to remember veterans who died in the service of the United States. Its roots can be traced back to Decoration Day, which began in the years after the Civil War, when soldiers decorated the graves of soldiers who died in the conflict with flowers. It has been a national holiday since 1971.

Mike VanDenLangenberg, left, and Paul Vander Kelen of the American Legion Post 11 Sullivan Wallen Green Bay place flags at veterans' graves Wednesday at Allouez Catholic Cemetery.

Veterans groups were able to observe Memorial Day last year with smaller virtual gatherings, but they look forward to the opportunity to come together to observe a very solemn day for veterans, said Joe Aulik, director of the Brown County Bureau of Veterans Services.

“It is extremely important that we come together and remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice to have the freedoms that we do in our country,” said Aulik. “Everyone gave a little and some gave their all.”

Aulik encouraged all residents to take at least some time of their day to stop and celebrate, either at their homes or at one of the events open to the public.

Public activities scheduled for Monday in Brown County include:

The United Patriotic Society of Green Bay will hold a ceremony Monday at 4:00 pm at Admiral Flatley Park, 440 S. Washington St., Green Bay. It will include a wreath laying ceremony.

The American Legion Sullivan-Wallen Post 11 will be holding a memorial of the grave at 10 am Monday at Allouez Catholic Cemetery, 2121 Riverside Drive. Members will also participate in a commemoration scheduled for 11 a.m. at the Nicolet Memorial Gardens, in the 2700 block of Bay Settlement Road, as well as the Patriotic Society ceremony on Monday afternoon.

Vietnam’s American Veterans Chapter 224 will hold a ceremony Monday at 8 a.m. at Veterans Memorial Parkway, just south of the Neville Public Museum. Section member Bill Zelazoski said the group has been running the event for about 30 years. It includes reading the names of the 57 Green Bay area veterans who died in Vietnam, a flower-laying ceremony, a rifle salute and taps.

The De Pere Kiwanis will host a ceremony at 1 pm at De Pere Voyageur Park. The event will feature music from the 484th Army Marching Band. The ceremony features a dedication by Mayor De Pere James Boyd, a colored guard, a rifle salute and taps. The event is normally part of Celebrate De Pere, but this event was canceled this year.

The Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs and the Wisconsin Veterans Museum will jointly host a virtual Memorial Day commemoration at 10 am Monday on Facebook. The museum has previously posted a video about the Wisconsinites who died in service.

The Wisconsin Memorial Day commemoration page,, also includes messages from heads of state, ideas on how families can observe the holidays at home, and a place to donate photos of alumni. Wisconsin fighters at the museum.

Brown County Public Health, De Pere Health Department and Oneida Nation Health Department continue to advise residents to follow CDC guidelines regarding masking and social distancing. If you have been fully immunized, you can resume your activities without wearing a mask or walking away, except as required by federal, state, local, or tribal laws, rules, and regulations.

Contact Jeff Bollier at (920) 431-8387 or Follow him on Twitter at @GBstreetwise.

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