• "What a great way to spend Veterans Day - stepping in for our 'greatest generation.'                      
    Welcome home!"
    VETERANS DAY traditioN
 Spirit of '45 helped the VA of Los Angeles County and the American Legion reboot the LA Veterans Day Parade this year.  
Walgreens donated poster photos of actor Charles Durning and other Hollywood stars and Major League Baseball legend Jackie Robinson and his Dodger teammates who served in WWII.  

2016 Veterans Day Parades

Spirit of '45 entries were featured in Veterans Day parades across the country as youth volunteers marched with poster size photos of WWII veterans from their families and communities.

Spirit of ’45 helped raise public awareness about the upcoming 75th anniversary commemoration of Pearl Harbor by carrying the photos of those who were killed during the December 7, 1941, that will be included in a giant Wall of Gold Stars of Pearl Harbor that will be displayed during the ceremonies in Hawaii next month.

The Pearl Harbor Gold Star photos will be the first to be officially added to the Wall of Honor that will be displayed in Washington, DC on the weekend of August 14-16, 2020, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the end of WWII. 


 New York City
More than 250 youth marched in front of a life sized sculpture of the “Time Square Kiss” carrying poster sized photos of WWII veterans, including some of the 348 New Yorkers who lost their lives during the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor.

This year’s Spirit of ’45 entry was organized by Val Pfundstein and Cole Kleitch. Theresa Werner and James Martin re-enacting the Kiss, and Walgreens Times Square store generously donated posters.


Los Angeles

Spirit of ’45 helped the Veterans Administration of Los Angeles County re-launch the Los Angeles Veterans Day Parade by organizing a youth entry that paid tribute to Hollywood movie stars who served in WWII.


The Battleship USS Iowa brought with the West Coast Seward Johnson’s “Kiss” sculpture and a great group of young leaders who helped organize the marchers.

 John Perry with photo of local WWII Navy veteran Ernest Thompson.  Youth volunteers from Battleship USS Iowa with photos of WWII vets Norman Lear, Ossie Davis, William Holden, Tyrone Power and Lee Marvin

Spirit of ’45 National Spokeswoman Elinor Otto, 97, aka “America’s Longest Working Rosie the Riveter” joined the volunteers to represent the Home Front.


Walgreens donated more than 100 photo posters to help support the LA Parade.  Walgreen store managers and their families joined the Battleship Iowa youth volunteers as together they began an annual tradition of keeping the Spirit of '45 alive on Veterans Day in LA.



San Diego
Once again, the Girls Scouts and Honor Flight teamed up to give San Diego's Veterans Day Parade another great Spirit of '45 entry.  Scouts met with WWII veterans and marched in front of the Old Trolly filled with members of the 'greatest generation.'  
Thanks to United Veterans of San Diego and Veterans Museum & Memorial chairman Jack Harkins and his team for their combined efforts to honor the veterans of "America's Finest City."
2015 Veterans Day Parades 
         "I was proud to be able to keep my great grandfather's spirit alive,"
Jessica, 13 
"Thanks for giving me a chance to walk with a real hero!"  
Richie, 12 
New York City 
Legendary TV and film producer Norman Lear and fellow civic activist Dr. Roscoe Brown Jr. represented the Spirit of '45 in "America's Parade" on Veterans Day on November 11, 2015.  Following the opening ceremonies in Madison Square Park, Norman joined the Parade as this year's Honorary Grand Marshall. Roscoe and Norman's photo posters were carried at the front of the Spirit of '45 entry which this year featured Theresa Werner and James Martin once again re-enacting the famous "Times Square Kiss" and a U-Haul truck bearing one of Seward Johnson's sculptures. Val Pfundstein and the Greater New York Councils of the Boy Scouts of America recruited more than 300 Scouts who carried photos of WWII veterans from New York, and those who received the Medal of Honor posthumously.  Cole Kleitsch, founder and president of Walking Civics, came in for the day to help rally the kids and drive the U-Haul up 5th Avenue to the cheers of the crowd, several of whom proudly displayed the photos of their WWII veterans.
(Above) Norman and Roscoe pose with New York Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio during opening ceremonies for America's Parade, the nation's largest Veterans Day Parade.  (Below)  Approximately 300 Boy and Girl Scouts from New York City came together to honor the Greatest Generation by starting a new Veterans Day tradition of carrying their photos in their local parades.
Spirit of '45 National Spokesman Jerry Yellin was a special guest of the Dallas Veterans Day Parade this year and marched with the youth group that was organized by Cheryl Sutterfield- Jones and her colleagues at the Frontiers of Flight Museum at Love Field, TX.  Youth carried photo posters of of Texans who received the Medal of Honor for their valor during World War II, including the war's most decorated soldier, Audie Murphy.  On the evening before Veterans Day, Jerry attended a viewing of the PBS documentary that featured him and Medal of Honor recipient Woodrow "Woody" Williams recounting their experience on Iwo Jima that was aired nationally on November 10.
San Diego 
San Diego Girl Scouts again teamed up with Dave Smith and his colleagues of San Diego Honor Flight to produce yet another inspiring Spirit of '45 entry in their local Veterans Day Parade.  Their local Walgreens stores donated the poster photos of the veterans who were flown to Washington, DC by San Diego Honor Flight to visit the National WWII Memorial, several of whom rode in an Old Trolley.  Spirit of '45 Day National Events Coordinator Linda Laurie was on hand to help organize the Scouts and document their service to their community in what has become an annual Veterans Day tradition in "America's Finest City."
Barb Jensen and her colleagues put together their first Spirit of '45 Veterans Day Parade entry this year to begin a new annual tradition in Oregon, which is launching a statewide grassroots initiative to collect the military service photos of the more than 150,000 Oregonians who served in World War II.   The Spirit of '45 entry featured Dean Powell, a 100-year old Oregon veteran of the Battle of Okinawa, who was joined by his family and U.S. Senator Ron Wyden who also honored 100 year WWII old Navy veteran Dario Rachio.  (See 100 Year Old Army Vet brings the Spirit of '45 to Oregon Veterans Day Parade)   Oregon was the first state to establish its own Spirit of '45 Day in the wake of the U.S. Congress voting unanimously for an annual national day of remembrance and reflection in 2010, and the first to issue a proclamation in support of this year's 70th Anniversary. The Oregon Historical Society mounted a superb WWII exhibit - "A World at War, a State Transformed".  Watch the video - be inspired!!