Ceremony in Neillsville honors area veterans - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Ceremony in Neillsville honors area veterans

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Neillsville (WQOW) - Veterans across America were honored for their service and sacrifice as part of Veterans Day. In western Wisconsin, The Highground memorial park in Neillsville held an event to honor our local veterans.

Veterans and their families from across western Wisconsin gathered to celebrate Veterans Day Sunday.

"When a soldier joins the service, his family joins the service. So for them to be here, it's as much a remembrance for them as it is for the service members," said United States Army Reserves Sgt. Major Jeff Uhlig.

The Highground in Neillsville hosted a Veterans Day celebration, paying respect to those who have fought for our country.

"It's important that we do honor our veterans because they're what made the history of our country, they're what made it strong, they are what's going to be carrying us into the future," Uhlig said.

The names of those Wisconsin men and women killed or missing in action from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars were read at the ceremony.

"Usually I wear dark sunglasses, because I'll break down. The tears run down my face, especially when I hear taps, hear the star spangled banner, and see other veterans standing there. I see parents standing there whose sons or daughters are no longer here, but we have to support them," said Vietnam War veteran Skip Sparks.

Whether they fought on land, at sea, or in the skies, all took their turn standing and receiving a thank you from those in attendance.

"It doesn't matter whether its the army, navy, air force, or marines...whatever war its from, they're still part of the overarching family, and its important that they're all recognized. It's really cool that they're all able to come back here to be honored," Uhlig said.

As the event wrapped up, veterans took time to share their stories with one another.

"We all have something in common, that we're veterans. Especially all the men that served in Vietnam, they're my brothers. Every time I meet a Vietnam veteran, I'll shake their hand, give them a hug and say "Welcome home brother." That's how we bond, after the welcome home we received," said Sparks.

During the ceremony, a brief moment of silence followed all those names from Wisconsin who were missing or killed in action from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. As of today, that number was 143.

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