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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. The parade in downtown Milwaukee started on Wisconsin Avenue at Vel R. Phillips Avenue, under intermittent showers. It proceeded to the Milwaukee County War Memorial Center for a wreath laying ceremony.

The Milwaukee Independent followed the length of the parade to document it in photos, with highlights presented here to show its participation and the overall conditions during the event.

About The Author

Lee Matz

A Milwaukee native, Lee worked internationally for years as an award-winning foreign photojournalist based in Asia. He was also Wisconsin's first war correspondent to report from Ukraine in 2022. Lee proudly uses MCTS as the exclusive mode of transportation for covering all his local news assignments.