Spirit of '45 Day float, Youth Volunteer with Tuskegee Airman Gold Star, Christelle Zuccolotto, director. Young Ambassadors of Remebrance, marching with D-Day Wall of Honor banner in National Memorial Day Parade.
Spirit of '45 Memorial Day
"March of Heroes"
Honors the Fallen of D-Day
 Hundreds of youth took part in the 2019 Spirit of '45 Memorial Day March of Heroes, led by Madeleine LeBeau (right) who helped organize this year's program.
After marching the 10 blocks up Constitution Avenue, volunteers continue on to the National WWII Memorial where they place flowers in a wreath in front of the Wall of Gold Stars to honor the more than 400,000 Americans who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country.
The 2019 Spirit of '45 Memorial Day March of Heroes" paid tribute to the thousands who gave their lives to the cause of freedom during the liberation of Europe, which began with the Normandy Landings in the summer of 1944.   
With the help of Roy Hemmat of HonorStates.org, and Nick Molle of the Digital Clubhouse Network, a "D-Day Wall of Honor" in the form of a 30 ft banner comprised of the photos of nearly half of the 2,500 Americans who died on June 6, 1944, was created for this year's March and the 75th D-Day Anniversary in Normandy, France in June.  This is the largest collection of these photos. 
Roy and Nick created similar Wall of Honor banners for the 75th Anniversary ceremonies for Pearl Harbor attack (December 7, 1941), the formation of the legendary Tuskegee Airmen  (March 22, 1941) and the
  • WASPs (Women's Airforce Service Pilots)
  • (August 5, 1943), and the activation of the All-Japanese American 442nd Regimental Combat Unit (February 1, 1943) and the Doolittle Raid (April 18, 1942).  
    Wall of Honor banners of the Gold Stars of the Battle of the Bulge, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa are being produced for the 75th Anniversary of the end of WWII in 2020.  A massive WWII Wall of Honor is being created to display in front of the National WWII Memorial on the weekend of August 14-16, 2020.
    The 75th Anniversary D-Day Wall of Honor was carried by students from France who have come to the US each year to join their American counterparts in honoring those who made the ultimate sacrifice to help liberate their country and preserve freedom and democracy.  The Ambassadors of Remembrance program is the creation of Christelle Zuccolotto, picturred above with U-Haul senior community affairs executive Ashley Wagner and her middle students from southeastern France.  
    The individual photos of more than 50 of the D-Day Gold Stars were carried in this year's March, together with those of the 264 posthumous recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor and others who made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our country during WWII. 
    Full marks to Madeleine LeBeau and Jamie Sawatsky for the excellent turn out of Girl Scouts and students from Rocky Run Middle School, who once again formed the vanguard for what has become an annual tradition. Madeleine is a former student of Jamie's at Rocky Run, who has introduced hundreds of young volunteers to the Spirit of '45 Memorial Day March of Heroes over the past several years.
    Their efforts were supported by long time national community partners Walgreens, which provided more than 50 new poster photos for this year's March, and Dignity Memorial, which provided wreaths. 
    Special kudos to Madeleine for organizing the Memorial Day ceremony at the Air Force Memorial earlier in the day which is now also becoming an annual tradition, building on the Spirit of '45 Day well established relationship with the Memorial since its dedication in 2006.
    Thanks again also to U-Haul for sponsoring the Spirit of '45 float and providing vehicles to transport acclaimed artist Seward Johnson's sculpture depicting the famous Times Square Kiss, the symbol of the national day that honors the men and women of our "greatest generation.'
     This year's March also paid tribute to 75th anniversary of the rescure of the "Lost Battalion" by the all Japanese American combat units on October 30, 1944.

    All Japanese American 442nd Regimental Combat Unit rescue Texas 36th