EAU CLAIRE — A tour of dozens of Chippewa Valley sites of historical and cultural significance is planned next week in honor of Armed Forces Day and Veterans & Home Front Heroes Appreciation Week.
The Living Heritage Legacy Tour, led by Vietnam veteran and former state Sen. Dave Zien, will stop at 57 sites around west-central Wisconsin from Monday through Saturday.
“People can be assured they’ll find out facts about our area they never knew existed,” Zien said. “This region is so blessed to have all these amazing characteristics.”
Participants should provide their own transportation for the tour.
A focus of this year’s event will be people who never served in the military but supported the Armed Forces or veterans.
“Home-front heroes help us through the perils of war and being away from home,” Zien said.
The tour, organized by Wheels of Liberty and Zien, kicks off at 8 a.m. Monday at Patriots Park next to Roadside Ice Cream & Diner on Menomonie Street in Eau Claire.
The park includes an exhibit paying tribute to Hmong veterans who are believed to have saved the lives of thousands of American troops and their allies during the Vietnam War, Zien said, noting that this is a particularly important time to honor Hmong veterans because of the surge of hate crimes and speech targeting Asian-Americans in the U.S.
Among the key stops on the tour are:
Monday: Area Historic Tribute in Fairchild, 9 a.m.; The Highground Veterans Memorial Park in Neillsville, 10:30 a.m.; Camp Victory near Willard, 1:30 p.m.
Tuesday: Bloomer Veterans Park, 11 a.m.; Indian Burial Mound in Chetek, 4 p.m.; Chippewa Valley Veterans Tribute in Altoona, 5 p.m.
Wednesday: Miracle Mountain Monument in Tomahawk, 10:30 a.m.; Northwoods National Cemetery in Harshaw, 1:30 p.m.
Thursday: Hallie Peace Park, 8 a.m.; Ladysmith Veterans Park, 11 a.m.; Wisconsin Veterans Home in Chippewa Falls, 3:30 p.m.
Friday, May 14: Rock Elm meteorite crater site in Elmwood, 9 a.m.; Chippewa Sioux battlefield and cemetery marker site in Prairie Farm, 11 a.m.
Saturday, May 15: Wisconsin Veterans-Citizen Soldier Monument in Cadott, 8:30 a.m.
The full schedule, including contact information for organizers, is attached to the online version of this story at leadertelegram.com.
The public is invited to join all or part of the tour by motorcycle, car, truck or any other type of vehicle.
Organizers will offer a brief summary at each location, followed by time for questions and discussion.