Former soldiers from past and present American wars were honored during a special ceremony at the Milwaukee County War Memorial Center, before marching along the Gary G. Wetzel Medal of Honor Way to public fanfare on November 16.

The 56th Annual Milwaukee Veterans Day of Honor began with several tribute performances, before the procession of participants joined a transportation convoy for a special lunch celebration at the Potawatomi Hotel.

This year marked the 74th anniversary of the end of World War II, and the day saluted those veterans and their special guests. The event has been an annual tradition since 1963, and is one of Milwaukee’s longest running parades. However, lack of support from the general public and an aging veteran population has steadily reduced the footprint of the festivities.

These images capture the highlights and emotions of the day, as local residents were remembered for their dedication and sacrifices to the nation in times of war.