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Author: Lee Matz

Behind the Tiny Desk: Exclusive look at how 88Nine filmed musicians for NPR’s talent search

88Nine Radio staff volunteered to help 10 local bands and solo artists record a song to submit in the NPR Tiny Desk Contest, and the Milwaukee Independent documented the March 30 video sessions. 2019 marks the 5th Tiny Desk Contest by National Public Radio. Even though there is only one grand-prize winner each year, many artists who submit entries get featured on NPR Music’s All Songs Considered blog and gain national exposure. To enter the nationwide competition, musicians must create a new video that shows their performance of an original song at a desk. That requires not only a...

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Honoring Fallen Heroes: Wood National Cemetery hosts 2019 Memorial Day tribute

Hundreds gathered on May 27 at the only national cemetery for military personnel in the Wisconsin, to honor the memory and sacrifices of the tens of thousands buried there. Over the week leading up to Memorial Day, teams of volunteers planted more than 35,000 American flags by the headstones. Many of those fallen date back to the Civil War, when the Old Soldiers Home was founded to care for those returning Union veterans from Milwaukee. “On this day of remembrance, and always, we honor those who left their mark on history. We memorialize the sacrifices they made for the...

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Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War share special Memorial Day remembrance at Calvary Cemetery

Calvary Cemetery hosted its annual Memorial Day commemoration with a crowd of hundreds in attendance for an outdoor mass on the morning of May 27, at the base of the hilltop chapel. The patriotic program followed with a featured address by President Abraham Lincoln, played by Nicholas Bur. Then a final military salute was performed with cannon fire from Cushing’s Battery A – 4th U.S. Artillery, along with a Civil War musket and American Legion rifle salute. The nonprofit organization Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (SUVCW) organized the annual historic reenactment. The Milwaukee County Historical Society...

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Milwaukee’s 154th annual Memorial Day Parade marched on despite rain and low public turnout

Over the past 154 years, the Milwaukee Memorial Day Parade continued an unbroken tradition except for once in 1984 when the event was cancelled due to weather. Originally known as Decoration Day, Memorial Day originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. The tradition began in Milwaukee after local veterans sought a way to remember those fallen brothers and sons who made the ultimate sacrifice for the Union. The observance for 2019 took place on May 27, honoring all the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military....

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Brewers legend Robin Yount recognized for years of citizen involvement in helping the Armed Forces

The Hall of Fame shortstop and outfielder for the Milwaukee Brewers and two-time American League MVP Award winner, Robin Yount, was the 2019 recipient of the Citizen Support award during the Milwaukee Armed Forces Week banquet at the Wisconsin Club on May 13. Yount was recognized for his unique support, and personal and professional service to the men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces. During a press conference before the ceremony, the retired baseball legend was asked how he felt about accepting an award for his work helping the military and veterans. “It’s difficult, to be honest with...

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Gold Star Family, George Banda, and Iwo Jima veterans recognized with Sijan Award for Valor

The 2019 Lance Sijan Award Ceremony took place at the Milwaukee Yacht Club on May 16, as the last tribute during Milwaukee Armed Services that recognized local individuals for their valor and service. Honored at the event were Ralph Charles Simoneau, Jim Partleton, George Banda, and Gold Star Parents Jane and Sylvester Sijan. ​The award was named for Captain Lance Peter Sijan, USAF, the first Medal of Honor recipient from the U.S. Air Force Academy. A native of Milwaukee Bay View neighborhood, Sijan was an F-4 pilot in Vietnam whose plane went down over enemy territory. Although badly injured,...

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