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

August 18, 2011

34. National D-Day Memorial, Bedford, VA

The National D-Day Memorial held a “Sentimental Journey Concert” on the evening of August 20 to pay tribute to our Greatest Generation.  The Memorial will be helping to spearhead next year’s efforts to identify other WWII memorials throughout the country that can be the venues for special ceremonies every second Sunday in August


The Memorial’s Sentimental Journey concert and ceremony on August 20 featured a performance by the Smith Mt. Lake Harmeneers with patriotic and period tunes like “Over the Rainbow,” “America the Beautiful,” “Georgia On My Mind” and a ceremony to observe National Spirit Day. The concert will also be the last opportunity of the year for visitors to see the illuminated Memorial at night. In honor of National Spirit of ’45 Day, World War II veterans received free admission. For additional information on the Smith Mountain Lake Harmeneers, visit their website at www.smlharmeneers.com. For more information on this event and others at the National D-Day Memorial, call 540-586-3329 or visit www.dday.org.

35. Iwo Jima Survivors Association Ceremony, CT

National Iwo Jima Memorial Rick Kowalker and his Riderless Horse with Marine Corps League Color Guard. Marine Corps Commandant Duanne Knowles was guest speaker.
Iwo Jima Survivor, Stanley Dabrowski, called out the names of the 100 Connecticut servicemen killed on Iwo Jima while his comrades tolled the bell for each. Visitors were given the chance to call the names of a loved one, toll a bell and display a photo on the Wall of Honor The National Anthem was sung by Elaine Schieffer, bagpipes played by Pat Whelan. While the bagpipes played, everyone lit candles from a light taken from the Eternal Flame that burns 24 hours a day. Marine Corps League member John Lynch was the Master of Ceremonies while fellow MCL members served as the Honor Guard to post colors, play taps, and offer a rifle salute in memory of all the veterans being remembered.

36. 45th Infantry Division Museum, Oklahoma, OK

The 45th Infantry Division Museum in Oklahoma City, OK, hosted a commemorative ceremony on the parade grounds of the 45th Infantry Division to recognize the service and sacrifice of the WWII veterans of the US Armed Forces who brought the war to an end in August 1945.  Brigadier General Robbier Asher, director of the joint staff of the Oklahoma Army National Guard, was the featured speaker for the program, which included the playing of “Taps” by members of Bugles Across America as part of this year’s cross country “Tribute to a Generation.”http://www.edmondsun.com/statenews/x1555803884/Military-museum-to-host-National-Spirit-of-45-Day

Brigadier General Robbier Asher, director of the joint staff of the Oklahoma Army National Guard. The ceremony also included WWII re-enactors and vehicles. Bugles Across America members who participated with the 45th Infantry Division Museum in celebrate the Spirit of '45 (From left to right) Roger Meyer, Douglas Conrady (BAA State Director), Hugh Kinsey, Joe Bryant, and Miku Stoner played rolling Taps. Another BAA member, Bill Sullivan, played Taps as part of another ceremony held in Bristow, OK.

37. Cason Monk-Metcalf, Nacgodoches, TX

Cason Monk-Metcalf Funeral Home in Nacogdoches, TX, one of the original Spirit of '45 Day Founding Members, held its second annual gathering this year which was attended by about 200 people, including these WWII veterans who were honored for their service during the event. Local historian and author Bobby Johnson led a moment of silence for the 22,000 Texans who lost their lives in WWII. "Texas itself saw more than 750,000 of its sons and daughters serve in the military," said Johnson. "When you consider that the state then was about 6.5 million persons than you get an idea of how vital that three-quarters of a million was."

38. Oak Hill Funeral Home and Memorial Park, San Jose, CA

Oakhill Funeral Home was one of four members of the Dignity Memorial national network who partnered with Lockheed Martin and several senior living communities to co-sponsor the WWII West Coast Weekend event that attracted thousands to San Jose's History Park on August 13-14.

39. Carothers Funeral Home and WWII Last Man Standing Club, Gaston Memorial Cemetery, Gaston, NC

Full the full description of the Gaston, NC program with additional photos and short video clip, visit http://www.gastongazette.com/articles/war-59980-world-became.html

Bunch-Johnson Funeral Home and HomeInstead, Statesville, NC
Dignity Memorial’s provider Bunch-Johnson Funeral Home teamed up with its local HomeInstead affiliate in Stateville, NC to host a Spirit of ’45 Day this year. http://www2.statesville.com/news/2011/aug/14/veterans-remember-spirit-45-day-ar-1300088/

Bill Rhinehart, director of Carothers Funeral Home, Dignity Memorial (right), joins Tony Sherrill in singing the National Anthem during the 2nd annual Spirit of '45 Day program organized by with the World War II Last Man Club and the Marine Corps League on Sunday evening at Gaston Memorial Park on South New Hope Road in Gaton, NC. The program featured a three-volley salute and the playing of taps to recognize the anniversary of the end of World War II. Photo courtesy of the Gaston Gazette Freda McKinnon and Barb Carmon perform together during the Spirit of '45 Day program held at the Dover Museum in New London, IA

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