The keynote speaker for the event will be retired Army General Frederick Kroesen, who commanded a platoon and a company in Europe as part of the victorious allied WWII forces. He later commanded the U.S. Seventh Army and U.S. Army Europe, and became the Vice Chief of Staff of the Army.
Also speaking during the ceremony will be retired USAF Lieutenant General Richard Y. Newton, III, AFA's Executive Vice President; Dr. Robert Sutton, Chief Historian of the National Parks Service; retired Brigadier General Jack Nicholson, former Secretary of the American Battle Monuments Commission; US Navy Memorial Founder retired USN Admiral Bill Thompson; and Linda Mathes, CEO of the American Red Cross National Capitol Region.
The ceremony will conclude with a wreath laying and a performance of "Taps" which will kick off a series of similar ceremonies across the country. The series will conclude in the Punchbowl National Cemetery in Hawaii, and will include the display of a "Wall of Honor" banner featuring photos of WWII veterans.
This year's Spirit of '45 Day ceremonies will also honor the memories of the late Senators Daniel K. Inouye and Frank Lautenberg, the last WWII veterans to serve in the US Congress, who co-sponsored Spirit of '45 Day when it passed unanimously in 2010.The annual cross-country "Tribute to the Greatest Generation" is one of the most powerful ways to remind America of the legacy of courage, sacrifice, and commitment to service exhibited by the men and women who took part in the greatest mobilization in history since the building of the pyramids.
For more information about the Washington D.C. ceremony and how to be involved in other events throughout the country, visit http://www.spiritof45.org/buglers0.aspx.