Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Celebrate the Spirit of '45 Day Ceremony this Sunday, August 11, 2013

The annual Spirit of '45 Day Ceremony will be held this Sunday, August 11, 2013 at the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. The Spirit of '45 Day is a day of remembrance that honors the men and women who were "ordinary heroes" of the World War II generation, and sends a call to action for a renewed spirit of civic engagement, volunteerism, service, and loyalty to our nation. The ceremony is free and open to the public, and will be held from 9:45a.m.-11:30a.m. 

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.

Spirit of '45 Day Ceremony Agenda

9:45 a.m. - Musical Prelude: West Point Alumni Glee Club (WWII songs)

10:00 a.m. - Welcome and Introduction - Maj. Gen. (Ret.) Alan Salisbury, MC
Presentation of the colors - US Coast Guard
National Anthem (West Point Alumni Glee Club. Jody Newton)
Pledge of Allegiance - WWII/youth leader(s)
Invocation (AVC/WWII Committee, Friends of the WWII Memorial)
Spirit of '45 Day - Warren C. Hegg, "Keep the Spirit of '45 Alive!"
"Why We Must Remember" Dr. Bob Sutton, Chief Historian, National Parks Service
Introduction of Keynote Speaker

10:20 a.m. - Keynote Address: General (Ret) Frederick Kroesen, Jr.

10:30 a.m. - Commentary
Homecoming - Brig Gen (Ret.) Jack Nicholson, former Sec. of the American Battle Monuments Commission
Navy/CG/MM Legacy - US Navy Memorial Founder Adm. USN (Ret.) Bill Thompson
Marine Legacy - Gen. USMC (Ret.) PX Kelley
USAF Legacy - Lt Gen (Ret.) Richard Y. Newton, III, Air Force Association Executive Vice President
Women in WWII - Brig Gen USA (Ret) Evelyn "Pat" Foote
Remembering the Caregivers - Linda Mathes, CEO American Red Cross National Capital Region

10:55 a.m. - In Memoriam
Commentary by representative of Senator Susan Collins (Tom Sturgeon)
Remembering Senator Frank Lautenberg - Jerry Yellin, WWII Veteran
Remembering Senator Daniel Inouye - Terry Shima, Japanese American Veterans Association, with Kenny Inouye and family

11:05 a.m. - Musical interlude - "Mansions of the Lord" (West Point Alumni Glee Club)

11:10 a.m. - Closing Ceremonies
Medal of Honor representative
Presentation of Wall of Honor Banner - Thad Jacarz, Vitas Innovative Healthcare
Wreath laying and "Taps" performed by Bugles Across America

11:25 a.m. "God Bless America" (West Point Alumni Glee Club and audience)

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