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    Wisconsin’s 37

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    Wisconsin's 37, The Lives of Those Missing in Action in the Vietnam War. By Erin Miller with John B. Sharpless Foreword by Major General John D. "Don" Logeman (Ret.) The signing of the Paris Peace Accords in 1973 signified the end of the Vietnam War. American personnel returned home and the 591 Americans held captive in North Vietnam were released. Still, 2,646 individuals did not come home. Thirty-seven of those missing in action were from Wisconsin. Using the recollections of the soldiers' families, friends and fellow servicemen, the author tells the story of each man's life.
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    On a cold, cloudy evening, February 20, 1919, Zion Reformed Church in Sheboygan was reportedly "packed to the doors" to hear a concert. The highlight was to be a cantata performed by the Zion Choir, but the program listed them as "assisted" by a new entity: the Sheboygan Community Orchestra, led by John Schmidt, "who certainly needs no introduction," according to the anonymous review published the next day in the Sheboygan Press. In the months to follow, that body of players would be performing on their own, and by the time of their third concert they would be calling themselves the Sheboygan Symphony Orchestra. They are still the SSO, one hundred years after their founding in the fall of 1918: the oldest symphony orchestra still functioning in the state of Wisconsin. They have performed continuously, except for pauses during the Great Depression and in the midst of World War II; and though they were called the Sheboygan Civic (Symphony) Orchestra from 1936 to 1973, there has been a continuity in both personnel and musical vision, linking one generation to the next over a 100-year span.
  • Author Rochelle Pennington has written two books detailing one of the most well-known shipwrecks of the Great Lakes. One for adults and one for children documenting Lake Michigan's Christmas Tree Ship, which delivered holiday evergreens to the citizens of Chicago each Christmas season before it was caught in the "Great Storm of 1912" and subsequently went to the bottom of the lake fully loaded with trees. The captain’s wife, Barbara, along with their three daughters, then carried on for over twenty years afterward in honor of “Captain Santa” and in the spirit of everything he believed in. The ship is still loaded with its cargo today and is a popular Great Lakes dive site. "It is a story which exemplifies the best of humanity," said Pennington. "At its heart we find courage, love, generosity, heroism, and the importance of family. The moment I first heard the story of the Christmas Tree Ship, I understood why it had endeared itself to so many people over the years and was still being shared a century later." "The ship's final voyage was not to the bottom of the lake," added Pennington, "but into the pages of history." This true account of Captain Schuenemann and his schooner is considered the “most loved story of the Great Lakes” over the past century. The story has inspired paintings, poems, six different Christmas Tree Ship songs, television programs, a musical performed all over the country titled “The Christmas Schooner,” and a “new” Christmas Tree Ship sailed by the Great Lakes Coast Guard each holiday season as a living memorial.
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    This publication is a chronological account of the sister city relationship between Sheboygan, a city in the state of Wisconsin, and Esslingen am Neckar of Germany. These articles span the years 1967 to 2017. The stories are told by actual headlines, story excerpts, photographs, and informational pieces gathered through articles in the Sheboygan Press, publications in the archives of the Sheboygan County Historical Research Center and Mead Public Library. The articles selected are meant to include a brief history and highlights of special visits and envoys. It is impossible to include everything. Many photos were available, but individuals and dates were not identified so they were not chosen. In a world that began with cablegrams, western union, letters, then phone and fax, communication evolved with the technology of cell phones, emails, the internet and FaceTime. In the beginning, travelers’ postcards and letters often arrived after they returned home. The bulk of the written material was found before all of this new technology replaced the newspaper stories. Some years there was more material than others. During the 1990s and beyond information was in the hands of individuals, not printed publications.
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    By Floyd Odekirk and Adrian Falchion Waiting on DEROS: A Soldier’s Story could not have been accomplished without the efforts of a Veteran, a writer and the spirit of every soldier walking within the pages of this book. Floyd Odekirk pursued the emotional task of bringing back the images of his tour in Vietnam (1968-69) so that the writer, Adrian Falchion, could paint in all its vibrant and dark colors the truths of war. Following the completion of 19 stories, Floyd Odekirk offered the light to his Veteran Brothers Michael Bennett, David Higgins, Craig Johnson, Dale Moravec, Donald Burch, Patrick Callahan, Joseph DeAugustine, Robert Moneypenny, Daniel Michael Pruitt and Thomas Vojvodich who each shared a story for the sake of honoring other soldiers.

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