Milwaukee VA honors post 9/11 veterans with wreath laying ceremony
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) - The Milwaukee VA placed wreaths on the headstones of fallen post 9/11 veterans at Wood National Cemetery to commemorate the 20th anniversary of 9/11 on Wednesday, Sept. 8.
The VA held a private ceremony Wednesday morning to honor the fallen. Wreaths were placed on seven headstones. Those seven men and women are from the Milwaukee area and died while fighting in Afghanistan or Iraq.
"I think this is a really difficult time for many. It's an opportunity for us a nation to reflect on everything that's occurred over the last two decades," Darcie Greuel said.
Darcie Greuel is the program manager for the Post 9/11 Military to VA Case Management Program at the Milwaukee VA. She said laying the wreaths is an honor for her and her colleagues.
"Our role is to reach out to each and every post 9/11 veteran who enters through the doors of any of our clinics," Greuel said. "It's so important for us to take the time to remember those who have really selflessly sacrificed their lives to maintain our freedoms here at home."
The fallen honored include six members of the U.S. Army and one U.S. Marine. Greuel said all of them died early in the conflict and were all quite young.
Wreaths have been placed on seven headstones at Wood National Cemetery in Milwaukee to commemorate the 20th anniversary of 9/11. The seven men and women honored all lost their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Milwaukee VA will keep them up through Saturday. @cbs58pic.twitter.com/fSThMQ6dKA— Melissa Zygowicz (@MelissaZygowicz) September 8, 2021
"I think it's evoking a lot of emotion....for me as well. It's hard to believe two decades have passed," she said.
Dr. Daniel Zomcheck, CEO of the Milwaukee VA Medical Center, said this ceremony is to also honor those who served and are still serving.
"They gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country. Freedom is not free," Dr. Zomcheck said.
The names of the fallen honored at Wood National Cemetery are:
- Spc. Scott T. Nagorski of Greenfield
- Cpl. Stephen W. Castner of Cedarburg
- Sgt. 1st Class Scott J. Brown of Brookfield
- Spc. Michelle M. Witmer of New Berlin
- Spc. Michael A. McGlothin of Hartford and Milwaukee
- Cpl. Adrian V. Soltau of Milwaukee
- Staff Sgt. Todd R. Cornell of West Bend and Menomonee Falls
The VA plans to keep the wreaths up through Saturday, Sept. 11.