'They're very deserving:' WWII vets saluted at Milwaukee's Day of Honor

MILWAUKEE -- A special celebration was held in Milwaukee on Saturday, Nov. 16 to honor veterans. This year, WWII veterans were saluted as the special guests -- and many were emotional on the Day of Honor.

William Pekrul

As former soldiers marched in Milwaukee Saturday, their service was remembered during the 56th annual Milwaukee Veterans Day of Honor.

"I never thought I'd be doing this," said William Pekrul, grand marshal. "I think it's a great honor. It really is."

This year, marking the 75th anniversary of WWII, the day saluted WWII vets as special guests.

"It's gratifying," said Mary Ann D'Acquisto. "I mean, they're very deserving."

Day of Honor for local vets

Mary Ann D'Acquisto

The grand marshal was a WWII veteran who said he was honored to be chosen to lead the parade that started at the War Memorial. The Honor Walk allowed people to thank veterans up close and personally as they marched through downtown.

"They've fought for our freedom, and for freedoms of people around the world," said D'Acquisto.

The Day of Honor also included a memorial service where WWII veteran Margaret Behlen reflected on her time serving as a nurse.

Day of Honor for local vets

Day of Honor for local vets

"I believe I was the youngest nurse in the unit," said Behlen.

Behlen and others were emotional as the red, white, and blue surrounded those who fought for our freedom.

"Thank you very much," said Behlen. "It's an honor."

Day of Honor for local vets