Veterans Oral History Project Award Ceremony & Luncheon - 2019

Our 4th annual Veterans Oral History Project is underway! We partnered local high school students from Pewaukee High School, Waukesha South High School and St. John's Northwestern Military Academy with local WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and Cold War Veterans to create a lasting record of the Veterans' many stories from their time in the military. The interviews will be submitted to the Library of Congress upon completion as part of a National Oral History Project, and we will celebrate our local participants with a Ceremony & Luncheon on May 19th at St. John's Northwestern Military Academy in Delafield.

Check back in May for photos and videos of our completed project!

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Bell Tower Memorial Programs & Events

Veterans in the Classroom

WWII Veterans Al Exner and Jerry Stern spoke to history classes at Pewaukee High School in February, 2019.

To see photos and video from additional events, please visit our Gallery!
Vice Admiral (ret.) Dirk Debbink
BTM in honor of Veteran Al Rohde

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Milwaukee VA Fisher House Tour

BTM members Roger Kasteanek, Darcy and Steve Peterman, and Cheri Enters were given a tour of the Milwaukee VA Fisher House. Executive Director Curtiss Peck explained the history of the FIsher House and how it came to be what it is today. It is located on the Milwaukee VA grounds and is a home away from home for families of Veterans being treated at the VA Medical Center. For more information, visit their website at

Veterans Reunion

The Bell Tower Memorial (BTM) held a reunion for the Veterans interviewed for the 2016, 2017 & 2018 Veterans Oral History Project. Kirkland Crossings in Pewaukee hosted the event on August 17, 2018.

Veteran Attendees:

Back row: Al Hansen, Army, WWII; Ralph Simoneau, Marine, WWII; Bob Smith, Navy/Marine, Korea; Fritz Krause, Army Air Corp, WWII; Wayne Iverson, Navy, WWII; John Miller, Navy, Korea

Front row: John Bosch, Army, WWII; John Eskau, Navy, Korea; Al Exner, Navy, WWII; Jo Helgeson, Army, Korea; Jerry Stern, Navy, WWII

Veterans Oral History Project Award Ceremony & Luncheon - 2018

On Sunday, May 20, 2018, The Bell Tower Memorial (BTM) and St. John's Northwestern Military Academy (SJNMA) hosted a Veterans ceremony and luncheon at SJNMA, honoring the completion of their third Veterans Oral History Project (VOHP) and it's participants.

Sponsored in part by Habush Habush & Rottier, students, Veterans, their families, and members of the community enjoyed lunch and the inspirational words of our guest speaker, Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow, and our keynote speaker, Petty Officer First Class Colin Dewey, USN. Veterans and students received award acknowledgments for their work on the project.

Veteran Participants:

Jack Eleyet, Air Force, Korea; Jo Helgeson, Army, Korea; John Jadel, Army, Korea; John Miller, Navy, Korea; Charlie Payne, Army, WWII; Alvin Rohde, Army, Korea; Ralph Simoneau, Marines, WWII; Robert Smith, Marines, Korea; Jerry Stern, Navy, WWII

Student Participants:

Chloe Brossman, Andrew DeMaster, Nikolas Denzien, Jake Gonzalez, Katherine Hearden, Carolyn Miller, Amaya Seidl, Stevie Ward, Emily Willis

Check out our video and photo gallery!