To honor those who serve, pay tribute to the fallen and raise funds for causes in support of these heroes.
We seldom stop to think about how freely we live our lives each day. Rarer still is the recognition of the monumental sacrifice that has won and defended this freedom—the lives of Service members. These men and women do not protect us because they have to; they do it because they are compelled to serve.
Freedom Fest is held in honor of those who have given so much for us, our Veterans.
Since 2008, we have gathered together to celebrate these national heroes. The event has grown from 1,200 attendees in its first year to a crowd of 7,000 people for 2012's fifth anniversary celebration. We have honored 194 "Fallen Heroes" over the past nine years—men and women from Wisconsin who have lost their lives during military service since September 11, 2001. Family members of these brave heroes receive complimentary attendance to the event, dedicated to the memories of their sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, and mothers and fathers.
To date, Freedom Fest has raised over $500,000 for Veterans causes, including nearly $169,000 in scholarships for returning Service members pursuing an education at a University of Wisconsin System institution. Freedom Fest proceeds also help maintain an extraordinary memorial inside the corridors of the UW-La Crosse Veterans Memorial Field Sports Complex, the Hall of Honor. Thousands of visitors each year show their respect and pay tribute to Veterans at this special landmark.
Remember, thank and honor our Veterans who served our country in war and in peace, by joining others as a supporter and advocate of Freedom Fest today.