| A 150 ft. Spirit of '45 Wall of Honor featuring 1,945 photos of WWII veterans from communities across America was displayed in front of the National WWII Memorial in Washington, D.C. on Spirit of '45 Day during the visit by Alamo Honor Flight from San Antonio, TX, on Saturday morning, August 11. Photo courtesy of Steven R. Brown Photographyy. Washington Post article and photos.
To help build public awareness and participation in the events and activities marking the 75th anniversaries of the major events of WWII that are planned for 2016 - 2020, the members of the Spirit of '45 coalition are inviting the public to help create a "Wall of Honor" made up of the photos of the 16 million Americans who served during the war.
The goal of this ambitious project is to put a face to the names that appear on head stones, memorials, and in public records, and will be displayed on the National Mall on the 75th anniversary of the end of WWII in August - September 2020.
The members of the Spirit of '45 coalition are identifying organizations in each state that can be the point of contact for helping promote the collection of the photos of the WWII veterans from their community so that they can be displayed on the second weekend in August, and made available for youth to carry in their local Veterans Day parades in November.
Washington State is collecting photos of its WWII veterans as an extension of its highly successful 70th Anniversary project "Washington Remembers - Faces of Heroes" so that they can be displayed each year at the state's WWII Memorial on the grounds of the capitol building in Olympia.
A high priority during the initial years of the project is mobilize organizations and individuals to collect the photos of the more than 400,000 who made the ultimate sacrifice during WWII who are represented by the wall of Gold Stars at the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C., including the 93,221 who are buried - and the 55,863 who were MIA whose names are etched in memorials - in the WWII cemeteries in Europe, North Africa, the Philippines and the U.S. that are administered by the American Battle Monuments Commission.
The Wall of Honor Project provides a catalyst for working with groups like the The Faces of Margraten Project that organized an excellent Tribute at the Netherlands American Cemetery last August. The group, whose mission is to collect the service photos and information about the approximately 24,000 American soldiers who are buried at the American cemeteries in Ardennes, Henri-Chappelle, and Margraten, has a web site that provides a model for collecting photos. www.fieldsofhonor-database.com
WWII heritage groups are creating a Wall of Honor that can be displayed during their 75th anniversary events and activities that will be taking place during the between now and 2020.
A WWII Airpower Wall of Honor is 'under construction" that will be displayed on September 18, 2017, in front of the Air Force Memorial in Washington, DC to mark the 70th Anniversary of the founding of the United States Air Force on September 18, 1947.
Plans for the
Wall of Honor Project will be finalized during the Spirit of '45 national leaders conference
in San Jose, CA February 12 - 14, be formally announced at special Memorial Day ceremony in Washington, DC on May 30, 2016.
For more details, please contact us at Info@Spiritof45.org.
The original "Wall of Honor"
The original "Wall" included the photos of all 464 Medal of Honor recipients, and 400 American soldiers, sailors, marines and merchant marines who lost their lives during the war, as well less famous individuals whose photos were sent in from around the country, including those of the 66 Tuskegee Airmen who were KIA serving their country.
Members of Alamo Honor Flight from San Antonio TX were present at the unveiling, representing the more than 100 Honor Flight Regional Hubs that have flown more than 80,000 WWII veterans to visit their Memorial since the inaugural flight in 2005. (The Digital Clubhouse Network organized the first "honor flight" in May 2004, when more than 70 WWII veterans and their wives were flown by the chairman of United Airlines to attend the dedication of the National World War II Memorial. Accompanying them were more than 30 youth who had helped the vets produce short videos documenting their wartime service as part of the DCN's award winning Stories of Service program.)
The "Wall of Honor" was more than 150 feet in length, with new sections being added each year with preference is given to veterans who have passed away during the intervening 12 months. The "Wall" includes photos of US presidents John Kennedy and George H.W. Bush, and all 464 WWII Medal of Honor recipients, Hollywood legends Jimmy Stewart, Clark Gable, Tony Curtis, Ernest Borgnine and Kirk Douglas, Major League Baseball standouts Jackie Robinson, Jerry Coleman, Bob Feller, Hank Greenberg, and Yogi Berra.
The photos of Senator Dan Inouye (Hawaii), Senator Frank Lautenberg (New Jersey), and former Presidential candidate and Senator George McGovern are also included in the Wall. Inouye and Lautenberg were the last two WWII veterans serving in Congress and co-sponsored Spirit of '45 Day with Senator Susan Collins, which passed unanimously in August 2010. Inouye received the Medal of Honor for bravery as a member of the legendary all Japanese American 442nd Battalion. Senator McGovern flew 35 missions over Europe in a B24 during the war, earning the Distinguished Flying Cross.
WWII vintage ships that will be commemorating the 75th anniversary of their commissioning are collecting the photos of their crews to create Wall of Honor displays of their crew members as a way to build closer connections with their families and the public. Pictured above is the Battleship USS Iowa Memorial berthed in San Pedro, CA.
San Jose's History Park's "Wall of Honor " displays 6 ft photos of local area WWII veterans from the San Francisco Bay Area. The Park's Wall will ultimately include more than 700 ft of photos, that will be displayed each year during the month of August and on Veterans Day in November. (R the widow of a WWII veteran gives her husband a loving kiss on Spirit of '45 Day.
Hundreds of Boy and Girl Scouts carry photos of WWII veterans from their family and community each year in America's largest Veterans Day Parade. More...