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'Never forget': Fond du Lac honors fallen service members on Memorial Day

Posted at 4:56 PM, May 27, 2024

FOND DU LAC (NBC 26) — For those who have served in the military, Memorial Day is a chance to honor their fellow men and women in uniform who gave their lives for our country.

  • The Fond du Lac community gathers for a Memorial Day parade and service to honor fallen military members.
  • Veterans say this day carries special significance.
  • Video shows veterans talking about the day's importance.

Richard Schultz and Leonard Ziegler share a special bond because of their time in the service.

“We served together over in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Kuwait, 1990 and ‘91, desert shield, desert storm," Ziegler said.

They’ve remained close throughout the decades.

“Friends forever," Ziegler said.

For this pair of best friends, they say honoring fallen veterans is their duty.

“It's very important for people who never got to enjoy the freedom that we had," Schultz said.

Twice a year, they go to local cemeteries and lay flags on the graves of service members.

“It’s an honor to do it, without a doubt," Schultz said. "And they say ‘Why do you spend so much time in a cemetery?’ what else could you do more honorable for people who are not with us?”

They both participated in Fond du Lac’s Memorial Day parade and say this is an opportunity to connect with fellow vets who understand what it’s like to serve.

“Quite a life, I think about it every day," Ziegler said.

Despite the years that have passed since their time in the Army, the duo said their dedication remains strong.

“I’ll put my uniform back on tomorrow and I’ll serve," Ziegler said. "I’m 87, and I’ll put her back on in a heartbeat. Go right back”

Many of the veterans have special connections to this day.

“What means the most to me about today is being able to spend the time with my father-in-law, reminiscing about those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for you and I to be there today," veteran Tracy Allen said.

Allen and his father-in-law Robert Daley may have served decades apart, in different military branches, and different wars, but this pair is connected in their dedication to our country.

“It’s great to be with someone who’s a veteran who knows the situations that might come up with feeling bad or having bad memories from years ago," Daley said.

They say Fond du Lac’s Memorial Day parade and service is an opportunity for the family to come together and honor those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

“It’s the biggest thing... To never forget, never forget what folks have done," Allen said.