Milwaukee war memorial honors 75th anniversary of end to World War II

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Milwaukee celebrated 75 years since the United States declared victory over Japan with a replica of the World War II memorial, a flyover and a ceremony honoring Wisconsinites who served in the war. 

On Wednesday, veterans and others gathered for a commemoration ceremony on the Fitch Plaza of Milwaukee’s War Memorial Center. During the service, two vintage warplanes flew over the crowd. One flight pattern honored fallen soldiers. The other flight pattern honored those missing in action. 

A field of flags also sits in Veterans Park to celebrate the anniversary.

Julian Plaster, a Navy veteran who served from 1943-45 in the Marshall Islands, speaks during the V-J Day (Victory in Japan) 75th Commemoration Ceremony at the War Memorial Center in Milwaukee on Wednesday. The event marks the moment 75 years ago when Japan signed surrender documents aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay that officially ended World War II.

World War II U.S. Navy veteran Julian Plaster gave a prayer to start the event. He was home by the time the war ended and remembered that day clearly.

“It was a blessing when I heard the Japanese had surrendered,” he said. “We had a little flag and flew it. It wasn’t big, but it meant something to us.” 

A replica of the World War II memorial in Washington, D.C., was also revealed for the ceremony.

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