Countdown to National Spirit of '45 Day 2013 begins!
Here's a overview of some of last year's exciting events!
The number of observances is rapidly increasing as Spirit of '45 Day continues to gain traction across America.
Send us information about what you are planning to info@Spiritof45.org.
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Here's just a few of some of the events and activities that will be taking place in communities this year:
The original Spirit of '45 Day was held in San Jose in August 2007, when more approximately 3,000 people gathered in the History Park to enjoy a day of live '40's music, WWII re-enactors, digital stories, and interviews with men and women of the "greatest generation."
On Monday - Friday, there will be a week-long documentary film festival at the Mexican Heritage Plaza, honoring the "unsung heroes of WWII" including Filipino Americans, Japanese Americans, African Americans, Mexican Americans and other groups that are often unacknowledged in popular histories of the war.
On Sunday evening, August 12, California State Partner CareMore and the San Jose Giants will host a "Homecoming" game at 7:00 PM, inviting the community to welcome home veterans from the Greatest to the Latest Generation, complete with fireworks sponsored by San Jose's Dignity Memorial providers. The evening will feature appearances by local WWII veterans, including Iwo Jima Survivor John Beahrs and Skip Adams who will thrown in the opening pitch.
Click here for the Spirit of '45 Week flyer.
News flash: Walgreen's to show Kiss mosaic of "Couples" photos on jumbo screens in Times Square on August 14 (details to come)
National Partner Vitas Innovative Hospice organizing events in more than 30 cities No organization has done more to help keep the Spirit of '45 alive in America than the management, staff and volunteers of the country's largest hospice provider. Vitas Innovative Hospice has a strong commitment to providing specialized end-of-life support to veterans and their families, and is often in the best position to assure members of the "greatest generation" that America will always remember them on the second Sunday in August. Vitas has created its own KS45A kit to support its Spirit of '45 activities that it organizes throughout the year.
Thad Jaracz, head of Vitas Veterans programs, will be a guest speaker at this year's wreath laying ceremonies at the National WWII Memorial and the US Navy Memorial on Sunday, August 12 (see below)
California Partner CareMore sponsoring "Welcome home!" baseball game, bringing "Greatest and Latest Generations" together
CareMore, one of the nation's most innovative providers of health care insurance, is helping to keep the Spirit of '45 alive in California by mobilizing its network of community centers throughout the state:
To remind people that a central element of the Spirit of '45 is to help assure a smooth transition to civilian life of the men and women who are returning home from service in Iraq and Afghanistan, CareMore and the San Jose Giants are inviting members of the WWII generation and the "latest generation" to enjoy a baseball game at the Giant's Stadium which will is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year. The San Jose Giants are the first Minor League Baseball team to host a Spirit of '45 Day observance, and will be helping introduce this annual tradition to its fellow clubs around the country during the 2012-213 national campaign.
Also participating in the August 14 baseball game will be the San Jose members of the Dignity Memorial network of funeral homes who are sponsoring fireworks. American Red Cross, Girl Scouts of America, and VITAS Innovative Hospice are helping promote attendance at the game.
CareMore recently hosted "whistle stops" in Whittier, West Covina, Long Beach and San Jose during the Spirit of '45 Express tour this spring.
Florida Governor Scott first to issue Spirit of '45 Day State proclamation
Spirit of '45 Naples was established by local historian and writer Dr. Lois Bolin, a Founding Member of the "Keep the Spirit of '45 Alive!" alliance and national delegate to the 2011 and 2012 Spirit of '45 Leaders conferences.
Click here to read Governor Scott's proclamation.
Click here to view flyer. Click here to see the Fox interview with Dr. Lois Bolin and Myra Williams of Vitas. Click here for a description of last year's event.
The Miami Marlins are planning a big Spirit of '45 Day observance during their August 12th game this year, marking their second year in a row. The Tampa Bay Rays are also having an observance this year on August 8th.
Fold3.com and Hewlett-Packard create "Wall of Honor" to be displayed at National World War II Memorial on Spirit of '45 Weekend (August 11-12)
A "Wall of Honor" comprised of 1,945 photos of men and women who served during WWII will be unveiled at the National World War II Memorial on Saturday morning, August 11. The "Wall" was created by Dave Williams of Fold3.com, a subsidiary of Ancestry.com, and was produced courtesy of Hewlett-Packard (the photos of both of H-P founders are included in the "Wall.")
Young volunteers to hold the banner for a historic photograph are being recruited by the Youth Advisory Council of the Office of the Mayor of Washington, D.C. and the National Parks Service, who have been helping organize the annual Memorial Day of Service program that takes place each year in Washington, D.C. in May. (Fold3 also created the "Faces of the Fallen" banner that was displayed on the steps of the National Archives and carried in the National Memorial Day Parade.)
Middle section of 120 ft Wall of Honor banner that will be displayed at National World War II Memorial on Saturday, August 11
Taking part in the Saturday photo op will be WWII veterans from San Antonio, TX who will be visiting their Memorial as part of Alamo Honor Flight, led by Tracy Huff who attended this year's Spirit of '45 Day National Leaders Conference in San Diego. We will take this opportunity to thank Tracy and all the "unsung heroes" of the more than 100 hubs of the Honor Flight Network who together have been keeping the Spirit of '45 alive by making it possible for more than 80,000 WWII veterans to visit their Memorial.
We hope that Honor Flight regional hubs will consider creating their own versions of the "Wall of Honor" made up of the photos of WWII veterans from their communities that they can display every year at public gatherings on Spirit of '45 Day.
The "Wall of Honor" will again be displayed during the Spirit of '45 Day closing ceremony at the National WWII Memorial at 4 - 5 PM on Sunday, August 12, to kick off this year's cross country "Tribute to a Generation," which will feature a selection of music and end with "Taps" performed by BAA members led by Auston O'Neill.
To sign up to be part of the unveiling photo, contact Madelyn Yates at the NPS at Madelyn_Yates@nps.gov.
This year's largest public event will undoubtedly will be "Field of Honor" extravaganza organized by Joe the volunteers of Stars and Stripes Honor Flight Wisconsin which has flown more that 1,000 veterans to see their Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Stars and Stripes Honor Flight, in partnership with Freethink Media, has produced a moving feature length documentary film that captures the stories, spirit, and wisdom of surviving WWII veterans.
You can see an excerpt of the film here
All proceeds from the event will be used to fly veterans to see their memorials that stand in their honor. We're already looking forward to the sequel!
Major League Baseball Teams again observing Spirit of '45 Day during their August games Major League Baseball clubs are planning their own special observances this year by screening the Spirit of '45 Day message by Dr. Roscoe Brown, Jr. the legendary Tuskegee Airman, educator and civic activist who was the chief consultant to George Lucas' feature film "Red Tails."
The San Jose Giants will be the first Minor League Baseball team to have a Spirit of '45 Day celebration, complete with fireworks!
Nationwide tribute to Ernie Borgnine begins at US Navy Memorial August 12
All of us were saddened by the news that Ernest Borgnine passed away on Sunday, July 8th, at age 95.
One of Hollywood's iconic figures, an Academy Award winner whose more than 5-decades career continued virtually to the last days of his live, Ernie was a tireless supporter of the U.S. Navy Memorial and all things Navy.
Ernie was also at the forefront of the campaign to establish a national day of remembrance to honor the "ordinary heroes" of his generation who served in uniform and on the Home Front during World War II. (A 10-year Navy veteran (1935 - 1945), Ernie once said that his favorite role in life was being a sailor in service to his country during WWII.)
A simple wreath laying ceremony honoring Ernie and all his fellow members of the seaborne services during World War II will be held at the "Lone Sailor" statue in front of the U.S. Navy Memorial in Washington, D.C. at 2:30 PM on Sunday, August 12.
Wreath laying ceremonies are planned in Ft. Lauderdale, Baton Rouge, San Diego, San Francisco, and other locations.
for remarks prepared by Paul Haley of the U.S. Navy Memorial.
for a photo collage of Ernie (right) that will be displayed during the ceremony.
All Atria Senior Living communities hosting Spirit of '45 Day Events
Atria Senior Living will be setting a new industry standard this year by having Spirit of '45 Day events at all 123 of its independent and assisted living communities in located in 27 states. Atria residents were active participants in this year's "Couples" project, contributing hundreds of photos that will be featured in the mosaic of the "kiss seen 'round the world" that will be displayed on Walgreen's jumbo screens in Times Square on August 14. Atria communities in California, Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Texas, and Arizona welcomed the "Spirit of '45 Express" on its 10,000+ cross country "whistle stop" tour in May-June this year.
Bugles Across America to begin cross country "Tribute to America's Greatest Generation" from National WWII Memorial to Hawaii on August 12th
A wreath laying ceremony will be held at the National WWII Memorial in Washington, D.C. at 4 - 5 PM on Sunday, August 12, to begin the annual Tribute to the more than 400,000 Americans who lost their lives during the WWII and the millions of members of the Greatest Generation who have passed away since the war ended. Contact Auston O'Neill at email@example.com for details about the Washington, D.C. ceremony.
This ceremony will be one of hundreds that are being organized across the country each year that will culminate in a special event at the Punchbowl National Cemetery in Honolulu, HI and a single bugler performing "Taps" in Pearl Harbor to officially end this year's National Spirit of '45 Day. For details about Spirit of '45 activities in Hawaii, contact State Representative Vanita Rae Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Honor Flight Indianapolis organizing first Spirit of '45 Day event this year
Bugles Across America Utah to continue annual Spirit of '45 Day tradition with ceremony in Salt Lake City on Saturday, August 11
America's Small Towns Leading the Way by Showing Their Spirit!
Small towns were the backbone of America during World War II and have a strong desire to preserve and honor the memory of a time when the word "community" meant "common duty," a man's word was his bond, and people understood the meaning of commitment to each other and their country. Here are just a few examples of how they are keeping the Spirit of '45 alive this year:
Click here to read about the event Ron Bykowski is organizing in McHenry, IL. It will be Ron's third year in a row keeping the Spirit of '45 alive in his community. He and his wife attended the Spirit of '45 National Leader's Conference in San Diego in February and hosted the Spirit of '45 Express in May.
- Click here to read about what is planned this year at Traveler's Rest, SC. Click here to see photos from last year's Spirit of '45 Day event.
- Click here to read about the event Bugles Across America's Bruce McKee is organizing in Martinville, IN.
- Click here to read about the event being organized by Alice Cheek at the D-Day Memorial in Bedford, VA.
- Click here to read about the event being organized at the Five Sullivans Museum in Waterloo, IA.
- Click here to read about the event being organized by Marianne Mihalyo and Gary Roy at the Jima National Iwo Jima Memorial and Park in Connecticut.
San Diego Honor Flight and Veterans Museum and Memorial host Spirit of '45 "Community Picnic" in Balboa Park
USS Kidd to hold Spirit of '45 Day event at Baton Rouge Old Town Hall on August 14
History museums and community historical societies have discovered that Spirit of '45 Day can help them by providing an opportunity to invite the public in to learn more about the WWII. Maury Drummond, executive director of the USS Kidd and Veterans Memorial, was one of the first in America to embrace Spirit of '45 Day in 2010 and hosted the first Spirit of '45 National Leaders Conference in February 2011. He and his team will be having their event this year again at the Old Town Hall in Baton Rouge.
Stay tuned: We'll be posting more examples each day until August 14.
Girl Scouts and other youth leadership groups organized "Conversations With History," this year, sitting down with men and women of the "Greatest Generation" to interview them about what they remember about the day they learned that World War II was over.
National Spirit of '45 Day 2012 will be observed even more widely this year as more and more people become aware of the importance of preserving the legacy of the "ordinary heroes" of the WWII generation so that their example can continue to inspire future generations of Americas, especially our youth.
Click here to read about National Spirit of '45 Day 2011!
to read about National Spirit of '45 Day 2010!
to download your Event Planning Guide!
And to make sure that National Spirit of '45 Day reaches as large an audience as possible, the American Veterans Center now includes a "Keep the Spirit of '45 Alive!" entry in the National Memorial Day Parade
that takes place in May in Washington, D.C.. read more...
The United War Veterans Council of New York County has made "Keep the Spirit of '45 Alive!" the centerpiece of the World War II segment of the nation's largest Veterans Day Parade that take place on November 11 in New York City. The Parade is now the model for other communities to emulate by having youth carry the photos of WWII veterans in their local Parade each year. read more...