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Author: Lee Matz

Milwaukee officially declared a Purple Heart City and County on medal’s 236th anniversary

The Milwaukee County War Memorial Center hosted a ceremony to honor veterans wounded in combat on Purple Heart Day, August 7. The annual observance commemorates the creation of the Purple Heart Medal on August 7, 1782 by the commander-in-chief of the Continental Army, General George Washington. Then known as the Badge of Military Merit, it was awarded to three Revolutionary soldiers in 1783. Wisconsin has previously been declared a Purple Heart State, a designation that offered medal recipients special benefits in recognition. This year, both the City of Milwaukee and Milwaukee County declared Purple Heart status in official declarations....

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Master swimmers compete at first ever Milwaukee River race in Cream City Classic

Milwaukee Water Commons, in partnership with Milwaukee Riverkeeper, Harbor District, and Wisconsin Sea Grant, held the first ever open water swim in the Milwaukee River on August 11. A total of 72 master swimmers completed the historical swim, bringing attention to the sizable efforts made over the years on the river’s cleanup. Not since the early days of Milwaukee’s founding, before the waterways were used to support industry, have residents used the river for recreational activity, and they did so further up stream. The 2018 Cream City Classic’s 1.5 mile course started where the Milwaukee River meets Lake Michigan,...

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Waveriders greet the summer sunrise with “Wiloha” surf culture

Atwater Beach in Shorewood once again provided a scenic spot for the 6th annual Surf @Water fundraiser on August 4, as a celebration of the Great Lakes surf culture and the primary drive for supporting the Surfrider Foundation-Milwaukee. With Sheboygan holding the honorary title of “surfing capitol of the Midwest,” Milwaukee’s growing freshwater surfing culture is no longer a well-kept secret. Surf @Water has created lasting memories and enhanced the love of our Great Lake for hundreds of children, families, and people of all ages for the past five years. Surfrider-Milwaukee is part of a network consisting of 81...

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Air & Water Show 2018 performances prepared and waited for weather to clear

The 2018 Milwaukee Air & Water Show took place along the city’s lakefront under poor weather conditions on July 21 and 22, limiting the public performances for each day. Unlike the thick fog in 2014 that grounded the entire show, this year was still able to feature some of the scheduled attractions. Families and enthusiasts gathered along Bradford Beach and Lincoln Memorial Drive in the hopes of watching the US Air Force Thunderbirds, despite the cloudy conditions that rendered visibility unfavorable for many hours. The two-day show is one of the largest free public events in the city. The...

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Classic Mark V deep sea suits allow diving enthusiasts to submerge back in time

The Lake Michigan Classic Diving Organization (LMCDO) hosted Wisconsin’s first Classic Diving Event on Milwaukee’s lakefront from July 13 to 15, between the South Dock of Discovery World and Lakeshore Park. Participating divers had to be PADI (Professional Association of Diving Instructors) or NAUI (National Association of Underwater Instructors) certified in order to suit up and go underwater. Each was fitted with vintage-style, hard-helmet diving suit that weighed more than 160 pounds. Portions of the three-day dive event were open to the general public, allowing area residents the opportunity to wear and dive into Lake Michigan with the classic...

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Lance Sijan’s inspirational story shared at screening of new documentary about his life

Bay View’s Avalon Theater hosted a private showing of the film “Sijan: A Quest for Freedom” on June 26, which featured the experiences, life, and courageous example of the Medal of Honor recipient as told through the memories of his family, friends, and fellow Vietnam Prisoners of War. The premiere of the “Sijan” documentary was attended by several hundred guests, who all shared a special connection to the 25 year old Bay View native, Captain Lance Peter Sijan. Many in the audience traveled from across the country to see the film, and for the opportunity to trade their personal...

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