Keep the
Spirit of '45 Alive
on  Veterans Day
Youth volunteers stepping forward
to represent WWII veterans
in their local parades in November
"Without youth, there is no history..."   WWII veteran  
Legendary TV and film producer Norman Lear and Tuskegee Airman Dr. Roscoe C. Brown, Jr. represent Spirit of '45
in nation's largest Veteran's Day Parade
America's WWII veterans are rapidly disappearing.  
Before long, all of the heroes of our "Greatest Generation" will have passed on into history.
To help ensure that they will forever be honored on Veterans Day, the Keep the Spirit of '45 Alive coalition is starting a new tradition of having youth volunteers march with poster sized photos of WWII veterans from their family and community in their local Veterans Day parade.  
The digitized photos are being collected so they can be included in the Spirit of '45 WWII Wall of Honor that will be displayed on the National Mall as part of the 75th Anniversary Commemoration in August 2020. 
Boy and Girl Scout troops have been especially active in establishing this new annual Veterans Day tradition, as other youth leadership groups such as Jr. ROTC, Young Marines, and Sea Cadets.  
Girl Scouts march in New York City Veterans Day Parade. Photo of Capt. Isaac Kidd, who was killed in action aboard the USS Arizona when it was attacked on December 7, 1941.
The Arnold Air Society/Silver Wings, a network of service clubs that has chapters in universities and colleges throughout the country, voted to make Spirit of '45 their national service project, and are mobilizing to collect the photos of those who served in the Army Air Corps and WASPs during WWII so they can be included in a WWII Airpower Wall of Honor that will be displayed in front of the Air Force Memorial on the 70th Anniversary of the formation of the United States Air Force on September 18. 2017.
Spirit of '45 entires have already become a cornerstone of the WWII section of several major Veterans Day parades in New York, San Diego, Silicon Valley (San Jose), Indianapolis. and is now being introduced in other cities across the country as part of this year's Spirit of '45 70th Anniversary Commemoration.  
Several Spirit of '45 partners are helping to support this new tradition by sponsoring Veterans Day entries in their local communities.  
Indy Honor Flight leads the way! 
Volunteers march in the Indianapolis Veterans Day Parade with photos of the hundreds of WWII veterans that have been flown to Washington, DC to visit the National World War  II Memorial by Indy Honor Flight since September 2012

If you would like to organize an entry in your area, please contact us at info@Spiritof45.org 

Scouts lead the way in New York City
Hundreds of youth volunteers, including Boy and Girl Scouts and their family members, march 40 blocks up New York's 5th Avenue to the cheers of the crowds who line the street to see America's largest Veterans Day Parade. A majority of the Scouts in recent years have come from Long Island which sustained heavy damage from Superstorm Sandy in the week prior to the 2012 Parade, including several who were virtually homeless at the time they volunteered to "keep the Spirit of '45 alive."
Click here for Huff Post coverage. More on our Facebook pages. 
Girl Scouts keep the Spirit of '45 alive in San Diego
San Diego's Veterans Day Parade included a "Keep the Spirit of '45 Alive!" entry with 150 Girl Scouts carrying poster sized photos of veterans who had been taken to Washington, DC by San Diego Honor Flight.  The group was organized by Teri Simas, who worked closely with national events coordinator Linda Laurie who reached out to Walgreen's to invite them to produce more than 100 poster photos for the Girls to carry in the Parade. 
More than 150 San Diego Girl Scouts took to the streets with photos of their local WWII heroes, including recent participants in the San Diego Honor Flight.  Walgreen's donated the poster photos to help keep the Spirit of '45 alive in "America's Finest City."

 2010 - 2011 NYC Veterans Day Parades


"Keep the Spirit of '45 Alive!" is becoming a regular feature of Veterans Day Parades throughout the country as more and more communities mobilize to honor the members of their 'greatest generation" by marching with their photos. (Above) Girl Scouts march up 5th Avenue in New York City's 2010 Veterans Day Parade.

More than 100 Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Air Force Jr. ROTC represented Spirit of ’45 in the 2010 “Nation’s Veterans Day Parade” in New York City wearing bright red scarves as they marched in America’s largest Veterans Day parade in front of a float carrying our National Spokesman Jerry Coleman and a 6 ft replica of the famous Times Square Kiss.

 Air Force Jr. ROTC march with WWII veterans photos in Nation's Veterans Day Parade.  (Center) Boy Scout wearing his grandfather's WWII service medals. (Left, New York Spirit Kids with National Youth Coordinator Robert Corpus and photo of Actress Rhonda Fleming's husband WWII Navy veteran Darol Carlson.
Jerry was invited to be the Grand Marshal in the 2010 New York's Veterans Day Parade in recognition of his 120 missions as a Marine fighter pilot during World War II and the Korean War, for which he received two Distinguished Flying Crosses.   Jerry was the only major league baseball player to see combat in both wars, sacrificing 5 years of his career to serve his country, and received a warm welcome from New Yorkers who remember him as the MVP of the 1950 World Series Champion Yankees.

Jerry Coleman and WWII veterans on "Keep the Spirit of '45 Alive!" float in the 2010 Veterans Day Parade.  Jerry presenting Spirit of '45 Day pin to NBC's Chuck Scarborough. (Right) rear view of float moving up 5th Avenue.

Click here to see Spirit of '45 Day national spokesman Jerry Coleman in the 2010 NYC Veterans Day Parade 

The 2011 Spirit of ’45 entry in the NYC Parade included surviving members of the famous Navajo Code Talkers, the legendary Tuskegee Airmen, and other WWII heritage groups.  Nell Calloway, grand daughter of Gen. Claire Chenault who led the legendary Flying Tigers, accompanied by a 6 ft replica of Seward Johnson’s famous sculpture depicting the “kiss seen round the world.”

 Nell Calloway, Robert Corpus and Kate Tafkovian with 6 ft version of the 25 ft Seward Johnson sculpture inspired by the "Times Square Kiss" of August 14, 1945 which is part of the "Keep the Spirit of '45 Alive!" entry in the NYC Veterans Day Parade each year.  (Middle) Valerie Pfundstein with Girl Scouts who lead the youth marchers, and National Supervisor Warren Hegg.  American Legion Past National Commander Fang Wong and Members of Lt. B.R. Kimlau Post in New York City's Chinatown, pose with "Kiss" statue.

WWII veteran Vince Stewart with 200 youth marchers who carried photos of WWII veterans from their community in the 92nd annual San Jose Veterans Day Parade in 2012. (Right) Spirit of '45 Day national spokesman Al Torolano, who served in the Texas 36th during WWII, stands with a 6ft photo that is part of the "Wall of Honor" displayed in front of San Jose's History Park. See Al's Stories of Service video here.

Boy and Girl Scouts march in front of HP Pavilion during San Jose's 2010 Veterans Day Parade

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