La Crosse is proud of the many memorials and sculptures in our communities that honor those who have fought for our country. We thank those in the community and beyond for the sacrifices made and Veterans Freedom Park assists in sharing our gratitude. This is the beginning of a series of memorial tributes in the La Crosse Region, stay tuned for more memorials in our region.
Veterans Freedom Park
The Veterans Freedom Park is a must-see while in La Crosse. A local veteran was inspired to create a memorial recognizing the “Forgotten War” to honor Korean War Veterans. Four additional memorials soon followed. The Korean Warm Memorial, WWI Memorial, U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps, the Hmong and Lao Memorial, and the WWII Memorial bring honor and gratitude to all who have served. They now all stand in Veterans Freedom Park.
Korean War Memorial
In this memorial, a large monument rests further along the path, featuring an outline of both North and South Korea. It reads: “Korean War Veterans Memorial, Forgotten No More.” The monument also features dates the war began and ended (6/25/1950 through 7/27/1953), the number of casualties (36,576), the number wounded (103,284), and the number of POWs returned to the United States (4,418).
World War I Memorial
This memorial features a brick pathway, flanked by two brick pillars. At the center of the memorial stands a statue of a World War I soldier, complete with trench boots and a haversack. Additional pillars with inscriptions encircle the statue, and a low curved brick wall provides seating. Etched in the pillars are inscriptions of never surrendering and how each person had died, lived and is now loved in these fields.
U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps Memorial
The La Crosse-Rebecca Myrick Chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) donated a plaque for this memorial. It reads: “In Commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the United States Cadet Nurse Corps 1943 to 1948, In Honor of All Who Served.” Other plaques tell the story of the Cadet Nurse Corps and applaud their role in the war. Members of the DAR can often be found weeding at the memorials.
Hmong-Lao Vietnam Veterans Memorial
This memorial was dedicated and created to inspire the Hmong youth and remind them of their history. And, to educate and remind Americans about the sacrifices the Hmong-Lao Veterans made. The statues stand vigilantly side-by-side atop a bold red base. A plaque describes our “moral responsibility to build a memorial in memory of those in the jungle who did not make it to the United States and those that did make it.”
World War II Memorial
This memorial is dedicated to World War II veterans. The statue, is made of fiberglass in the likeness of an infantry soldier. It stands on an eye-catching, vibrant blue platform. Six stone pillars encircle the statue, and four of the pillars are etched with the insignia of a branch of the Armed Forces: The United States Marine Corps, the United States Army, the United States Navy, and the United States Coast Guard.
Vietnam War Memorial
A newer addition to the Veterans Freedom Park is the Vietnam War Memorial. It includes a walk-way with a sculpture of combat boots and a flag and rifle leaning against them. Walking further into the area you’ll see a curved wall with the names of 1,239 military personnel killed in action engraved on it and the billowing flags in the background. Included is a plaque reading “We will never forget the sacrifices of those who fought for our freedoms during the Vietnam War. 1959 – 1975.” There are also benches to sit and reflect in this memorial.
Veterans Memorial Field Eagle
The stainless steel eagle, perched on top of five decorated steel arches and masonry columns, represents the national symbol, appearing on the Great Seal of the United States. This sculpture is intended to honor veterans of all five branches of the United States Military. The design is celebrative in nature and contains symbols which reflect both the monument’s status as a veterans’ memorial and the stadium’s function as a UW-La Crosse athletic facility.
This art piece depicts a mother and her child resting upon a granite base. The sculpture is made of bronze. Inscripted in the base of the statue is, “Who had not learned in hours of faith, the truth to flesh and sense unknown that life is ever Lord of Death and love can never lose its own.” An old oak tree stands as a protective canopy over the sculpture. The cemetery in which the sculpture stands is itself a La Crosse Historic Site.
Louie’s Legacy of Honoring Those Who Served – Memorials
In 2015, Louie was serving as the President of the Korean War Veterans Association Chapter 275 in the La Crosse area and wanted a place to remember and reflect on veterans, he decided to do it himself and with the help of others.
Veterans Memorial Campground & Park
Enjoy family camping on the banks of the La Crosse River with shaded grassy sites this summer! Stay and enjoy their quiet, peaceful campground. They pride themselves on providing a clean, and wholesome atmosphere for camping families.