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Memorial Day observed for the 100th time by La Crosse Central

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The Memorial Day holiday in America started more than 150 years ago, and one La Crosse school has recognized the holiday with a yearly ceremony for a full century.    

La Crosse Central observed a milestone Friday morning with its 100th Memorial Day program, a tradition begun in 1923. It’s thought to be the longest-running school ceremony for Memorial Day in the U.S. 

La Crosse Central students attend school’s 100th Memorial Day program

Airman First Class Quartell Roberson, a staffer for the La Crosse School District, spoke about service members during the service.

“Americans who join the military are the greatest risk-takers,” Roberson told the audience. “They are selfless individuals, who are willing to put their lives on the line to protect and defend the Constitution.”

A second speaker at the ceremony was Central High supervisor of career education Britta Rotering. She’s a retired Army sergeant who joined the service at 17, and was active in the Iraq war.

Rotering urged students to “live a life of your dreams” that would make veterans proud to serve their country. “Take chances, work hard, admit your mistakes. Love fiercely, be loyal, and give yourself grace to make mistakes.”

Many area veterans joined Central students for the ceremony. The program was held outdoors with an audience again, after two years of on-line ceremonies because of the pandemic.  

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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