Wisconsin Remembers: A face to every name comes to Dunn County

Published: Sep. 3, 2021 at 6:06 PM CDT
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MENOMONIE, Wis. (WEAU) - Wisconsinites who did not make it home are behind the traveling exhibit called Wisconsin Remembers: A face to every name. The exhibit will be displayed the Dunn County historical society’s Russell J. Rassbach Museum in Menomonie from September 4ht to September 26th.

Melissa Kneeland, Dunn County historical society executive director, says the exhibit brings faces to the name of those who paid the ultimate price for their country.

“What it is, it’s the photos and the names of the Wisconsin soldiers who are listed on the Vietnam war memorial in Washington D.C. and the Neillsville Highground,” Kneeland said.

The traveling exhibit is on loan from the Wisconsin Veterans Museum and features 1,161 Wisconsinites who were killed fighting in one of America’s most-controversial military conflicts.

“When you come in to look at the exhibit, they are not listed as they are on the Vietnam memorial,” Kneeland said. “They are actually listed by county within Wisconsin.”

Kneeland says the project is on-going because there are still some names without faces.

“Some spots are just a black box,” Kneeland said. “That signifies that they have not yet been able to acquire a photograph of that person.”

The Dunn County historical society collaborated with the Dunn County veterans service office to bring more of the familiar names and faces to the project.

“It’s been great to have that local connection to help specifically reach out to Dunn County and the Chippewa Valley veterans,” Kneeland said. “To tell those stories and give a place for remembrance.”

A missing man table is also on display along with artifacts from UW-Stout.

“We collaborated with the University of Wisconsin-Stout archives and have a few artifacts from a few previous Stout students whose names are also on the wall,” Kneeland said.

There’s an interactive map allowing veterans the option of putting a pin where they served. Kneeland hopes the exhibit will create a space of remembrance, connecting Dunn County to the global experience of the Vietnam war.

“When you see all their faces together, all of a sudden it creates a much deeper impact as to who these individuals were,” Kneeland said. “Like the exhibit says, it’s a tribute to lost potential and that tribute really comes forward when you see all those faces.”

The exhibit opens on September 4th with special veterans only hours from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Another veteran’s only hours will happen again on September 18th. The exhibit will be open to the general public Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

To learn more about the Wisconsin Remembers: A name for every face, click here.

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