Bloomer veterans welcome exhibit that honors Wisconsin veterans

Published: May. 24, 2023 at 5:19 AM CDT
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BLOOMER, Wis. (WEAU) -With Memorial Day coming up it is important to take time to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice to serve our country and a traveling exhibit that made its way to Bloomer is giving people the chance to do that.

1,161 faces peer down at you from the “Wisconsin Remembers: A Face For Every Name” exhibit, a tribute to lost life created in partnership with Wisconsin Public Radio, PBS Wisconsin, and the Wisconsin Veterans Museum.

The exhibit currently sits at the Veterans Memorial Clubhouse in Bloomer, WI  where two local veterans said it belongs.

“They have a picture, and the city that they were from, and the date that they were killed,” Vietnam veteran, Jim Hudacek, said. “It just seemed like a good fit.”

“I had heard of the exhibit before and I was just excited to get it for Memorial Day weekend,” veteran, Rodney Johnson, said. “I just think it is a perfect fit for Memorial Day weekend.”

The exhibit made its way to the clubhouse when the Director of the Bloomer Public Library, who is also a veteran, was trying to find a way to bring it to her community.

“I received an email that was sent out to libraries statewide and heard about the exhibit and thought what a great opportunity to bring recognition and remembrance for our veterans from Wisconsin,” Stacey Brown said.

The exhibit arrived on Tuesday and will be open to the public for free Saturday, May 27th to Memorial Day Monday.

Although Memorial weekend marks the start of summer, welcomes picnics, and sales Hudacek ,who served in Vietnam in 1969, and Johnson who served in Germany in the 1970s, said the best thing people can do on Memorial Day is to honor veterans by thanking them for their service and by never forgetting their sacrifice.

“It’s really meant for the remembrance of those who died in service to country,” Johnson said.

“You want to remember them,” Hudacek said. “They made an ultimate sacrifice giving their life for their country and we don’t just want to consider them a statistic.”

The exhibit will be open Saturday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., and Monday 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. To learn more about the exhibit click here.

There will also be a free screening of the Iraq veteran documentary, “Almost Sunrise,” on Wednesday, May 24 at the Bloomer Public Library. A Chippewa County veterans service officer will be there to discuss veteran resources.