As the 75th anniversary of V-J Day and the end of the World War II approaches, the Milwaukee War Memorial Center is hosting a new exhibition and a number of related events, as well as a book tie-in.
The exhibition, "On the Homefront," opens Monday, Aug. 24 in the Freedom Gallery near the entrance off the north parking lot of the War Memorial Center, 750 N. Lincoln Memorial Dr.
The free exhibition explores how the Milwaukee area helped the United States win the war.
Back when it was still a major industrial manufacturing center, Milwaukee companies and workers helped the war effort by manufacturing not only munitions and airplane and vehicle parts, but also motorcycles, parachutes, diving equipment and more.
Companies like Allis-Chalmers also participated in the Manhattan Project.
Personal artifacts and documents also help tell the story of the 2,972 Milwaukee County residents that gave their lives in the war, which officially ended on Sept. 2, 1945 in a surrender ceremony aboard the USS Battleship Missouri.
To accompany the exhibit, Milwaukee historian Thomas Fehring wrote "When Milwaukee Went to War: On The Homefront During WWII," which will go on sale on Aug. 29 at Boswell Books, Historic Milwaukee's shop, the Milwaukee County Historical Society and on Amazon for $12.50. Proceeds will benefit the War Memorial Center.
On Saturday, Aug. 29, the War Memorial is asking the community to come help plant 2,972 flags in Veterans Park to memorialize the Milwaukee County residents who died in the war.
This new, hopefully annual, event will start with a 9 a.m. ceremony and a Stars and Stripes Honor Flight parade.
Two days later, on Aug. 31, the only traveling World War II Memorial will go on display on Fitch Plaza at the War Memorial and it will remain there until Sept. 3. It is free to visit.
On Wednesday, Sept. 2 at 9:04 a.m. the War Memorial will host a brief ceremony to commemorate the official 75th anniversary of the formal surrender of Japan aboard the USS Missouri.
Lastly, on Thursday, Sept. 3, the House of Harley has organized a motorcycle benefit ride to raise awareness and funds for the War Memorial Center. The ride starts at 10 a.m. at the dealership, 6221 W. Layton Ave., and ends at the War Memorial Center, with a police escort.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.