National Spirit of '45 Day
"Honoring the legacy of the men and women of America's Greatest Generation
on the anniversary of their Greatest Day"
Sunday, August 13, 2017
Register your Spirit of '45 Day event or locate an event near you.
This year Spirit of '45 Day will help raise public awareness and participation in the 75th anniversaries of important WWII events that are being commemorated beginning this year and culminating in 2020.
75th Anniversary Commemorations in 2017
Battle of Bataan - January 7, 1942
Doolittle Raid - April 18, 1942
Battle of the Coral Sea - May 8, 1942
Formation of WAAC's (Women's Army Auxiliary Corps) - May 15, 1942
Battle of Midway - June 4-5, 1942
Battle of Guadalcanal begins - August 7, 1942
Allies invade North Africa (Operation Torch) - November 8, 1942
Formation of the SPARS (Women's Coast Guard Auxiliary) - November 23, 1942
In 2010, Congress unanimously voted in favor of a national “Spirit of ’45 Day” to preserve and honor the legacy of the men and women of the World War II generation so that their example of national unity, shared sacrifice, can do attitude, and service to their community and country continues to inspire future generations of Americans.
Spirit of ’45 Day is now being observed in hundreds of communities throughout America on the second Sunday in every August, with events and activities in public parks, community centers, funeral homes and memorials, senior living communities, and during Major League Baseball games.
Senator Susan Collins of Maine, whose father is a veteran of the Battle of the Bulge, introduced Spirit of '45 Day with the support of the last two WWII veterans to serve in the Senate, the late Senators Daniel K. Inouye of Hawaii and Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey. More than 75 Congressional representatives co-sponsored Spirit of '45 Day in the House.
“In 2010, I was honored to sponsor a Senate Resolution supporting the observance of “Spirit of ’45 Day” to commemorate the national effort, by those in uniform and by those on the home front, that defeated the forces of aggression, ended the horrors of the Holocaust, and brought World War II to an end.
"The late Senators Daniel Inouye and Frank Lautenberg, who cosponsored the resolution, served freedom’s cause with valor in World War II and served our nation with distinction in the United States Senate. From the strong shoulders of those who defend our freedom, all Americans can learn about commitment, service, and patriotism. That is the spirit that guided our nation through its darkest days, and that lights our way into the future.”
Tuskegee Airman Dr. Roscoe C. Brown, Jr.asks America to observe Spirit of '45 Day
1945 was the defining year of the last century.
At the beginning of the year, World War II still raged around the world. The bitterest and most costly battles of the war were yet to be fought.
On April 12, President Franklin Roosevelt died, thrusting a unknown inexperienced new leader into the role of Commander in Chief.
Even after victory in Europe was declared on May 8, our nation faced the grim prospect of invading Japan and the specter of millions of military and civilian casualties.
Then, on August 14, President Harry S. Truman announced that Japan had surrendered and spontaneous celebrations broke out around the world at the news that the war was over.
America immediately began the work of peace, helping rebuild the economies of its allies and former enemies alike, leading efforts to form the United Nations and other international institutions based on President Roosevelt's "Four Freedoms,"and helping millions of returning veterans begin their civilian lives with the G.I. Bill and other programs.
Future generations need only to reflect on the achievements of this historic year to fully appreciate the greatness of America.
And if the men and women of the World War II generation truly deserve to be called America's 'greatest,' then August 14, 1945 was their greatest day - the day our country having achieved victory over the forces of aggression and ended the horrors of the Holocaust, dedicated itself to building a more peaceful world in an unprecedented effort to assure a better future for the children of both its friends and former foes.
Spirit of '45 Day offers an opportunity for their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren to reflect on the extraordinary achievements and timeless values that are the legacy of these "ordinary heroes" who endured the difficult times of the Great Depression, achieved victory in WWII, and then undertook an unprecedented effort to assure a better future for their children and their children's children, for former ally and foe alike.
70th Anniversary Commemoration Announced at National Press Club
August 14, 1945 - August 14, 2015
Jerry Yellin, 90, served in the Army Air Corps as a P-51 fighter pilot and had the the distinction of flying the final combat mission of World War II on August 14, 1945 - the day spontaneous celebrations broke out across the world at the news that the most destructive war in history was over and America turned to the work of peace. More...
"It is vitally
important that all Americans - especially the youth of our country - are made
aware of this story, and why I personally have become deeply involved with the
high profile events that are planned for commemorating the 70th anniversary of
this historic year that will pay tribute to the contributions of those of us
who served in uniform and those who supported us on the Home Front.
"The members of my generation are now rapidly disappearing, and it is highly unlikely that many of us will still be around for the 75th Anniversary of the end of WWII. The 70th Anniversary Commemoration in 2015 may be the final opportunity for us to share our stories and hopefully inspire future generations as they face the challenges of the coming years."
Tuskegee Airman Col. Bob Friend, 94, speaks during the opening ceremonies of the Spirit of '45 Day event hosted by the Battleship USS Iowa on August 10, 2013. Later in the week, Col. Friend was honored by the Los Angeles Angels during their Spirit of '45 Day observance. More...
"Keep the Spirit of '45 Alive!"
Keep the Spirit of '45 Alive is a nationwide grassroots initiative of the Digital Clubhouse Network, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that was established with the support of NASA in 1997 for the purposes of mobilizing youth to use the power of digital technologies to build a better 21st century community. www.digiclub.org
In 1998, the DCN achieved national attention for pioneering the use of intergenerational digital storytelling, bringing tech savvy youth and WWII veterans together to produce a series of short videos that received three medals from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, and are achieved in more than two dozen museums and libraries around the world. (www.Stories-of-Service.org)
In 2000, DCN was one of the original founding partners of the Library of Congress Veterans History Project, and was honored for its work during the dedication ceremonies for the National World War II Memorial in 2014.
Keep the Spirit of '45 Alive has brought together more than 100 organizations that share the common goal of assuring that the legacy of the men and women of the World War II generation continues to educate and inspire future generations of Americans. The coalition collaborates on events in February (National Leaders Conference), May (Memorial Day), and November (Veterans Day) to help broaden and deepen public awareness and participation in Spirit of '45 Day throughout America during the second weekend in August.
For more information, please contact us at Info@Spirit of '45.org.