Spirit of '45
Memorial Day March of Heroes

Spirit of '45 Team leaders did a great job on Memorial Day 2014. (Above left) Spirit of '45 Day 2013 Teacher of the Year Jamie Sawatsky of Rocky Run Middle School in Chantilly, VA, recruited more than 250 students and parents from Virginia and Maryland this year. (Center)
For the fourth year in a row, Eddie Harbison brought a team of youth to carry the photos of the 66 Tuskegee Airmen who were KIA during WWII. (Right) Val Pfundstein, who brought a continent of youth volunteers and parents from Long Island, NY, and New Jersey, prepares volunteers for their Spirit of '45 Memorial Day of Service.
(Above left) Jamie Sawatsky holding one of the photos of those who received the Medal of Honor posthumously in WWII. (Right) Volunteers assemble with their photos on the steps of the National Archives during the opening ceremonies for the Parade.
Rocky Run Middle School in Chantilly, VA, leads the recruitment of the youth volunteers for Memorial Day and Spirit of '45 Day programs in Washington, DC. More than 100 students from Rocky Run participate each year.
Since 2010, Dignity Memorial has provided the wreaths and flowers for these events and activities as part of its ongoing efforts to help keep the Spirit of '45 alive in America. Below, Bryan Allison of Murphy Funeral Home, accepts the 2013 Community Partner Award on behalf of Dignity Memorial during the pre-Parade briefing ceremony on May 26, 2014.
Special thanks to Tricia Freitage and all our friends at the Navy Memorial for hosting this year's pre-Parade briefing and to Dignity Memorial for donating the beautiful wreath.
Mary Virginia Pittman-Walker, Navy League National Board Member and Spirit of '45 representative from Texas, joined youth volunteers for a pre-Parade wreath laying at the "Lone Sailor" statue as Auston O'Neill, Jr. performed "Taps" in honor of all those in the seaborne services who made the ultimate sacrifice during World War II.
Capt.Jerry Yellin marches down Constitution Avenue with youth volunteer carrying photo of his wingman Phil Schlamberg, who was KIA on the day the two of them flew the final combat mission of WWII on August 14, 1945. Yellin was the Honorary Grand Marshal of the National Memorial Day Parade in 2014 and 2014, and makes numerous public appearances and speeches on behalf of Spirit of '45 Day throughout the year.
One of the highlights of last year's National Memorial Day Parade was the appearance by the Spirit of '45 Day Express that traveled more than 22,000 miles throughout America to raise public awareness about Spirit of '45 Day and the 70th Anniversary of the end of WWII next year. (Right)
Eddie Harbison led youth volunteers carrying photos of Tuskegee Airmen who died defending freedom. Eddie has organized a team of volunteers for the past several years. The youth also participate in the annual ceremonies at the Air Force Memorial that are held at 9 a.m. on Memorial Day.
Val Pfundstein and her team of "Rosiettes" from Deer Park, NY, place wreaths at the Japanese American World War II Memorial and the Women's Military Memorial, and (below) at the grave of the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg in Arlington National Cemetery on the Sunday before Memorial Day.
Earlier on Memorial Day morning, Eddie Harbison joined Jerry and Val and her Long Island "Rosiette's" at the USAF Memorial for its annual wreath laying ceremony. Eddie's team honored the 66 Tuskegee Airman who were KIA in WWII by displaying their photos which they carry later in the afternoon in the National Memorial Day Parade.
Bryan Allison and his family were joined by Richard and the Deer Park "Rosiettes" at the Iwo Jima Memorial to lay a wreath in honor of Tommy Begley and other Marines who gave their lives in service to their country during WWII. This annual Memorial Day tradition was started by the late Harold "Skip" Adams, one of the original Spirit of '45 Day national spokesmen who passed away in 2012. Semper Fi!
Wreath donated by Murphy Funeral Home.
Special thanks to Linda Laurie, Spirit of '45 Day National Events Coordinator, for assuring that everything went smoothly again this year. Despite her being more than 3,000 miles away in San Diego, we know she was there throughout the Day in Deep Spirit!