Citing the COVID-19 pandemic, officials from American Legion Post 333 and VFW Post 9362 in Sun Prairie have issued a cancellation for the 2020 Memorial Day Parade.
Traditionally, American Legion Post 333 in Sun Prairie sponsors the parade on Memorial Day. American Legion Post 333 began in 1921 and is named after Elmer Peterson, a World War I casualty who died in France on September 13, 1918. Each year, the post honors four casualties from World War I.
Historically, the parade line-up takes place on Kroncke Drive in the Cardinal Heights Upper Middle School (CHUMS) parking lot with the parade starting at 10 a.m. and proceeding west on Main Street to South Walker Way and turn south to VFW 9362 and the Sun Prairie Veterans Memorial.
However, this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, the post officials felt a parade could not be held due to regulations that prohibit gatherings of more than 10 people. Lt. Kevin Konopacki from the Sun Prairie Police Department recently confirmed he talked with both posts and that the parade had been canceled.
A scaled down Memorial Day ceremony may take place at the Sun Prairie Area Veterans Memorial, but because of gathering restrictions, it won’t be promoted to discourage public attendance, according to VFW Commander Jack Ziesch.
Individuals with questions about the parade are asked to contact Bev Marchant at 608-837-3661 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
List of Sun Prairie soldiers who died
Traditionally, Sun Prairie’s Memorial Day ceremony includes the reading of soldiers from Sun Prairie who died during military service.
“All of us at the American Legion and VFW are disappointed we can’t honor our veterans the way we normally do, but we understand the situation and the restrictions for everyone’s health,” Ziesch wrote in a guest column.
Sun Prairie soldiers killed during military service include:
World War I — Arthur Goecks, Aug.13, 1918; Elmer Peterson, Sept. 13, 1918; Harry Assovsky, Sept. 28, 1918; Ervin Blatterman, Oct. 6, 1918.
World War II — Roderick Klubertanz, Dec. 7, 1941; Delbert Burke, June 5, 1942; Layton Baitinger, April 24, 1943; Harry Hanson Jr., March 25, 1944; Vernon Knorr, Aug. 5, 1944; Otto Trapp, Aug. 24, 1944; Erich Wagner, Aug. 28, 1944; Charles Werner, Sept. 17, 1944; Leonard Miller, March 31, 1945; Elroy Tuttle, April 15, 1945; Vernon Buskager, Oct. 22, 1945.
Vietnam — Thomas Williams, Dec. 1, 1963; Thomas Broome, June 28, 1967; James Kesselhon, March 21, 1968; Frederick Suchomel, April 15, 1969.
Grenada — Michael F. Cooper, July 1, 1984.
Afghanistan — Robert J. Cook, Jan. 29, 2004; Travis Van Zoest, June 6, 2006; Daren M. Hildago, Feb. 20, 2011.
Iraq — Zachary Smith, June 4, 2004; Joshua Scott, May 27, 2005.
American Legion Post 333 had previously announced that due to strict COVID-19 gathering and social distancing restrictions, it would be unable to place flags on Sun Prairie area veterans’ graves this year.
“We all wish everyone to be safe. So, on Monday, May 25, around 11 a.m. please take a moment to remember our men and women who are serving abroad or stateside and those missing in action,” Ziesch added. “Always remember this — all gave something, some gave everything.”