Labor of love: homemade Vietnam memorial shows us what Memorial Day’s all about

Local News

Sometimes a moment of silence isn’t enough.
With Memorial Day rapidly approaching, this 22-year Navy veteran from Menasha says he doesn’t want grilling and boats to replace the memory of lives lost in the crossfire of freedom.

Steve Conto has been adding to the his Vietnam Memorial Wall since 2013… visiting and cleaning up the grave sites of Wisconsinites lost in the conflict wherever they are in the country.
Currently… there are 1,248 names on his wall, with an average age of 20 years old.

During my brief visit multiple veterans passed by to say ‘thank you’ to Conto for putting the wall together, and to the service members who were robbed of the best years of their lives.

“That shows that he really respects his fellow people that died for our country,” said Larry Schroeder, a Vietnam Veteran from Neenah.

“It tells me that they haven’t forgotten,” said Jim Eagen, a Desert Storm Veteran living in Menasha. “And that they respect the people that have layed down their lives so that we can enjoy what we have.”

And the objective here is simple. In a war that left about 58,000 Americans dead, Conto wants to remember Wisconsin’s fallen heroes.

Conto’s memorial wall is open to the public at until May 31st.

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