MILWAUKEE -- The Milwaukee County Courthouse Christmas tree was erected Monday inside the courthouse, and has a special meaning.
The tree was harvested from the Cudahy War Memorial at Sheridan Park on Monday morning, November 19th. Veterans volunteered to have the tree cut down because it was taking up space. Now, the Cudahy War Memorial will be able to move their flag pole to be more prominently displayed and it will open up more room for future veterans' events.
"I'm very happy that we were able to do this. It's just a small tribute that we can pay for all the people whose names are on that wall," Bruce Maresh, President of the Cudahy War Memorial Board said.
"We just thought it was great that we could celebrate the War Memorial and Christmas at the same time," Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele said.
From the War Memorial, the Christmas tree was lifted by a crane, moved onto a flatbed truck and hauled away to the courthouse to be put on display inside the rotunda.
"That's what the Christmas tree is during Christmas. It's a symbol of everlasting life," Milwaukee County Supervisor Patricia Jursik said.
"It's an honor for us that this tree is donated," Vietnam War Veteran Keith Johnstone said.
He hopes the tree's journey serves as a yuletide reminder of why we have peace and goodwill during this holiday season.
"Hopefully, that reflection will bode well and people will come away with a warmer feeling in their hearts," Johnstone said.
Getting the tree to stand, however, was no easy task. Because of its size, it took a crew of around 20 men several tries and over an hour to pull the tree upright in its position at the courthouse rotunda.
The County Tree Lighting Ceremony will take place on Thursday, November 29, 2012.