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War Memorial Center adds new veterans tribute as part of Operation Renew

Under the blue sky and clouds is a new pole for the stars and stripes to fly high. It may seem simple, but at the Milwaukee County War Memorial Center it's a sign of dignity.

\"It's extremely important for families and friends and service members to have a place that they can go and reflect and remember how important their service was to us,\" said Jennifer Metz, events manager.

That's the goal of Operation Renew, a multi-million dollar project designed make repairs and upgrades to the facility built in 1957.

\"There was a lot of things structurally that were done to the outside of the building to make it a little bit more safe and secure,\" Metz said.

One key component is the new Veteran's Courtyard. A ring of honor will display the name of each conflict and an eternal flame with burn inside the remodeled reflecting pool. It's surrounded by the veterans honor roll, names of Milwaukee County soldiers killed in action.

\"This year for the first time ever, we are adding 13 names to that honor roll,\" said Metz. \"So it's going to be quite a ceremony.\"

The new memorials give veterans a sense of pride.

\"It makes you feel like veterans and current military are actually appreciated for the sacrifices they make to keep this country safe, said Christopher Penoska, Iraq War Veteran.

Sliding glass doors have been installed to give visitors a clear inside out view, one the War Memorial Center hopes will breathe new life into the meaning of patriotism.

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