'We're a landmark:' Milwaukee's War Memorial Center reopens to public amid pandemic

MILWAUKEE -- The War Memorial Center in Milwaukee reopened to the public on Monday, July 6. The center is now working to make up thousands of dollars lost during the coronavirus pandemic.

It is a place meant to honor and remember. But due to COVID-19, the inside of the War Memorial Center has been closed to the public since March.

Dan Buttery

"We're a landmark. It's a beautiful reminder of sacrifice and service to our community. It's not just the military but the loved ones who surround them, so we can't cancel that," Dan Buttery said.

The center has spent the last few months turning memorials and events virtual. But Monday, the building itself re-opened to the public.

"We sprayed high-surface areas, and what that does is it does not allow the virus to adhere to the surfaces," Buttery said.

There is now also a temperature scanner at the door and staff and visitors are required to wear a mask. All steps to help get the center back in business.

"Business is still happening, but we have to do it safe. We have to be cognizant of the concerns. This is a very real pandemic, but we want to make sure we can still support the veterans in our community," he said.

Dan Buttery, the center's president, says the center has lost $80,000 in event and parking revenue since the start of the pandemic. Now that they are open, they are working to find ways to make sure programming isn't impacted long-term.

"Learning cannot stop. Honoring the sacrifice cannot and will not stop, so we have to find ways to find support," he said.

The center is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. with a new "On the Homestead" exhibit opening on August 1.