including Featured Speaker, Taya Kyle

MILWAUKEE (August 11, 2021) – Summerfest presented by American Family Insurance invites fans to help salute our nation’s bravest men and women during Military Appreciation Day with Generac on Saturday, September 11, 2021.

Today during a press conference at the War Memorial Center, it was announced that Taya Kyle, will be the featured keynote speaker at the special Military Appreciation Day Ceremony at Summerfest. Taya Kyle is a New York Times best-selling author who is well-known for the portrayal of her family in the film, American Sniper. As an advocate for military and first-responder families and wife to the late Navy SEAL, Chris Kyle, she inspires audiences around the world with her compelling story about fighting through the toughest of times with the help of faith, family, and freedom.

Fans are encouraged to attend the Military Appreciation Day Ceremony to hear Taya Kyle speak about life in service and embodying the American Spirit. The Ceremony will begin at 3:00 p.m. on the Generac Power Stage and will also feature a Color Guard Presentation from the Milwaukee Recruit Battalion, a Service Medley honoring each branch of the military, and a special 9/11 tribute and moment of silence.

“As a company with hundreds of veterans on our growing team, Generac is proud to take the lead role in sponsoring Military Appreciation Day at Summerfest and to help provide this forum to recognize those who are or who have served our country,” said Tom Pettit, chief operations officer at Generac and veteran of the U.S. Army. “This September, we’ll mark the twentieth anniversary of 9-11 – a day that will live on in our memories forever. We hope this special day at Summerfest will provide the community with a unique opportunity to pause and remember, and to pay tribute to veterans and first responders for their unwavering commitment and dedication to our country.”

In addition, during Military Appreciation Day with Generac, all active-duty military personnel and veterans, along with up to four (4) family members, who present their Military ID at the designated turnstile at any gate will be admitted for FREE to Summerfest on September 11th from noon – 3:00 p.m.

War Memorial Center Activities
Throughout the year, the War Memorial Center has been highlighting the service of Ops 30:20 veterans and has numerous events planned for September 11, 2021.  Operation 30:20 marks the 30-year anniversary of the start of Operation Desert Storm and the 20-year anniversary since the terror attacks of 9/11. These two events link together decades of service of our men and women deploying as members of our U.S. Armed Services, totaling 19 Department of Defense authorized Expeditionary Ribbon Medals.

Wisconsinites are also encouraged to submit their 9/11 remembrances now at the War Memorial Center for public display in September. The public can also honor veterans through the purchase of a banner to be displayed in the Avenue of Heroes on the weekend of September 11. 

On the morning of September 11, the War Memorial Center will host the annual Milwaukee County Remembers 9/11 Commemoration at 8:30 a.m., then will open a special exhibit about 9/11 and launch a Never Forget  9/11 Wisconsin Tour encouraging Wisconsinites to visit five locations throughout the state with 9/11 memorials.

For more information on Military Appreciation Day, visit and for more information on activities at the War Memorial Center visit

Taya Kyle was unexpectedly thrust into the spotlight through her marriage to the late, great American Sniper, Chris Kyle – one of the most hardened Navy SEALs America has ever known. Chris completed four tours overseas that led to his immortalization in print as well as Clint Eastwood's Academy Award-winning movie, American Sniper. It was during these tours that Taya developed a rare internal resilience as she held down her home fort while war theater played out on news screens. 

After Chris was unexpectedly killed, Taya lost the love of her life and became a single mom to two children under 10. She founded the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation, now known as Taya and Chris Kyle Foundation – Service Family Strong, as a way to continue the post-deployment legacy Chris began and enhance military service, veteran, and first responder marriages. Although she was born and raised in Portland, Oregon, Taya is now actively involved in the daily operation of the Texas-based Foundation as the Executive Director.

After the release of her first book, American Wife, Taya became a New York Times best-selling author. She traverses the country sharing her compelling story about fighting through the toughest of times imaginable and emerging even stronger with the help of faith, family, freedom, and a healthy sense of humor. Her story resonates with audiences of all backgrounds, and, in 2019, Taya released a collection of short stories about inspirational people she has met through her travels in her second book, American Spirit.

Powered by newfound dignity and purpose, Taya inspires audiences to focus on the positives during the difficult moments in life. She embodies the American Spirit and leads with a deep connection to her faith and humility. Today, Taya Kyle is a beacon of strength for women around the world, most especially those with a connection to military, veteran, and first responder communities.

Summerfest presented by American Family Insurance has evolved into what is now recognized as “The World’s Largest Music Festival” and Milwaukee’s cornerstone summer celebration, hosting the music industry’s biggest acts, emerging talent, and local favorites along with approximately 800,000 fans, for an unforgettable live music experience. The 53rd edition of the festival will take place June 24-26, July 1-3, and July 8-10, 2021.  Summerfest is one of the oldest music festivals in North America, featuring over 1,000 performances on 12 stages, along with food, beverages, and activities, all in a world-class festival setting on the shores of Lake Michigan. For more details, visit, or Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram: @Summerfest.