News :: National Spirit of ’45 Day observed in hundreds of communities across the country this year! Share your stories!

August 18, 2011

26. Veterans Wall of Honor, Heritage Park, McDonough, GA

Hawaii Jr ROTC students hold Spirit of '45 banner honoring the 2,402 sailors and marines who were killed during the December 7, 1941 attacks on Pearl Harbor.  
  Gunnar's Mate First Class Clifford B. Dunaway, Sr., who served on the USS Atlanta, spoke of his wartime experiences during the ceremony. (Below) Cdr. Pete Branan and Col. Donald G. Amburn.
Twenty-five BAA buglers assembled for a Spirit of '45 program at the Wisconsin State Fair, organized by Bill Seaman, State Director for Bugles Across America, whose goal is to have 1,945 buglers play "Taps" across America every second Sunday in August to honor the more than 400,000 who gave their lives in WWII and the millions of the Greatest Generation who have passed away since the end of the war.  

27. Wisconsin State Fair, Milwaukee, WI

28. National Cemetery, Salt Lake City, UT

Bugles Across America representatives (l to r) LTCM (ret) David Bettinson, L. Brent Christensen (SD), DeVaughn Simper (AD), Kris Larson and CSM Gary B. Christensen play Taps before Spirit of '45 ceremony during wreath laying ceremony at Salt Lake City's national cemetery. Sgt. McPhee recently returned from service in Afghanistan. Col. (Ret) Craig V. Morgan, State of Utah Department of Veterans Affairs, was assigned by Governor Gary S. Herbert to read the Declaration at the “Spirit of ’45 Day” and Chief Chaplain of the Department of Veterans Affairs, Chaplain Joseph Westfall volunteered his service to pastor our Celebration. The U.S.M.C. Salt Lake City Recruiting Station – East provided a very “Squared Away” Flag Detail and Color Guard and, Guest Speaker Col. (Ret) Craig V, Morgan touched on poignant comforting messages of hope and sacrifice – his message was clear and meaningful to Gold Star Mothers in attendance. Mrs. Colleen F. Parkin, a Gold Star Mother, expressed her thanks for the ceremony remembering the Greatest Generation and honoring her son Marine Cpl Matthew Reed Smith who fell in service to his country on January 26, 2006.
Proclamation from Utah Governor Richard Herbert proclaiming Spirit of '45 in his state.  

29. St. John’s Church, Richmond, VA

To see/hear the video of their performance, please visit http://youtu.be/bqs4TEVZnLo

Bud Oakley organized a stirring performance of "Echo Taps" at the historic St. John's Church in Richmond, VA. Left to right Thomas Jefferson, Jim Barrett, USMC Ret., Col. George Washington, Rev. Laura Inscoe, Rector, Bud, Payton Randolph, and Robert Carter Nicholas. St. John’s Church became famous as a living memorial to American liberty when over 100 Virginia colonial leaders, including Patrick Henry, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Richard Henry Lee, and Peyton Randolph met here in March of 1775 to avoid the wrath of Royal Governor Lord Dunmore in Williamsburg. St. John’s Church was the only building in Richmond suitable to hold the delegates. Patrick Henry’s famous “Give me Liberty or Give me Death” speech was delivered on 23 March 1775.

30. Alabama National Cemetery, Montevallo, AL

WWII veteran Bucky Walter walks among the graves at Alabama National Cemetery during the Spirit of '45 Day ceremony organized by Gene Ramsay, Alabama State Director for Bugles Across America. The ceremony was mc'd by Bob Bareford, head of the Support Committee for the Cemetery. The program, which was attended by about 120 people, included music from the 313 Army Band, a reading of a Spirit of '45 Day proclamation by a member of the state legislation, an Iwo Jima reenactment, a musical tribute by the Homeland singers, and a fly over by a vintage aircraft as members of the Alabama National Guard Team fired a volley to pay tribute to veterans of WWII and other eras. Photo courtesy of World War II spirit gains spotlight at the Alabama National Cemetery in Montevallo | al.com Young Garrett Woodhead joined his dad, Scott, and four other buglers to perform "Echo Taps" to conclude the Spirit of '45 Day ceremony held at the Alabama National Cemetery in Montevallo, AL. (Below) Bugler Doc Kirby also played at the cemetery of Pine Level United Methodist Church, halfway between Troy & Montgomery, as part of the cross country performance of "Taps" to signal the end of the Day.
  Volunteer Jim Kuba holds a 3 inch shell for a 50 caliber anti aircraft gun while leading a tour of the USS Slater during National Spirit of '45 Day, on Sunday Aug. 14, 2011 in Albany, NY. The annual event is meant to honor the men and women of World War II, and what they accomplished.

31. USS Slater, Albany, NY

The USS Slater was just one of the Navy museums that participated in Spirit of ’45 Day this year, led by the Historical Navy Ships Association whose president Admiral “Mac” MacLaughlin helped promote the program organized by the San Diego Veterans Museum and Memorial.  http://www.midway.org/spiritof45

Mac was also on hand to help honor Jerry Coleman and the San Diego Padres during their Spirit of ’45 Night on Monday, August 14, presenting Padres President and CEO Tom Garfinkel with a Spirit of ’45 National Leaders Medal during a pre-game ceremony that honored more than 200 WWII veterans and their families who were invited as guests of the Padres.

For more photos from the USS Slater click herehttp://www.timesunion.com/local/article/Photos-Spirit-of-45-Day-1993565.php

32. USS Kidd, Baton Rouge, LA

Watch the video of the USS Kidd’s Spirit of ’45 Day event ‘Spirit of 45′ celebration in Baton Rouge | NBC33 | WVLA

Maury Drummond, executive director of the USS Kidd Museum in Baton Rouge, LA with Blane Palazzo, who played Taps to honor the members of the Greatest Generation in Louisiana, which was the first state in America to officially proclaim National Spirit of '45 Day last year. The USS Kidd hosted the first annual Spirit of '45 National Leaders Conference in February of this year, in honor of its namesake, Admiral Isaac Kidd who was among the first to be killed in WWII during the attack on Pearl Harbor 70 years ago.

33. Independence Sea Port Museum, Philadelphia, PA

A growing number of military and WWII related museums participated in Spirit of ’45 Day this year by organizing events.http://online.wsj.com/article/AP86a8458f99784028b6e0313905a5d702.html

Independence Seaport Museum in Philadelphia, PA recently created a special exhibit highlighting the Greatest Generation. Titled Celebrating Submarine Sailors and the Spirit of ’45, the exhibit focuses on the lives of submarine sailors during World War II aboard the Becuna (below), a BALAO-class submarine built in 1944 that completed five wartime patrols in the Pacific Ocean. The USS Becuna is part of the museum’s Historic Ships Zone that includes the Olympia, a protected cruiser in service from 1895-1922 and famous for her role in the Spanish-American War. The exhibit will only be shown until Labor Day; however, Becuna is open for tours year-round with admission to Independence Seaport Museum. For more information, please visit http://www.phillyseaport.org/.

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