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Events to mark seventy-fifth anniversary of World War II’s endEvents to mark seventy-fifth anniversary of World War II’s end

A committee dedicated to paying tribute to veterans of World War II will hold events and programs in Washington, D.C., in May and at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii next summer to commemorate the seventy-fifth anniversary of the war’s end in Europe and the Pacific.

Framed by flags surrounding the base of the Washington Monument, the Commemorative Air Force's B-29 "Fifi" banks during the Arsenal of Democracy: World War II Victory Capitol Flyover on May 8, 2015. A second Arsenal of Democracy Flyover will take place Friday, May 8, 2020. Photo by Mike Collins.

The 75th World War II Commemoration Committee plans to raise $100,000 to help veterans participate in the Arsenal of Democracy commemorative events in Washington, D.C., from May 6 to 10, and at Pearl Harbor between August 29 and September 2, the organization said in a news release.

The honorary co-chairs of the 75th WWII Commemoration Committee are former Sens. Bob and Elizabeth Dole, who were joined by Linda Hope, representing the Bob and Dolores Hope Foundation—the presenting sponsor of the 75th WWII Commemoration—to support the activities.

“It is significant that we ask for the public’s engagement with 75th WWII Commemoration fundraising today, remembering not only the ‘date which will live in infamy,’ but also the 100th birthday of nationally recognized WWII veteran, Tuskegee Airman, Col. Charles McGee,” said Pete Bunce on behalf of the Arsenal of Democracy Executive Committee and the 75th WWII Commemoration Committee. Bunce is also president of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association.

“It is our goal to honor the heroism and sacrifice of our WWII veterans, those serving on the home fronts and those who suffered the horrors of the Holocaust while we still have a precious few left living among us,” he said.

The programs and events to take place in Washington D.C., will include a once-in-a-lifetime mass flyover of the National Mall by 100 World War II-era warbirds to mark Victory in Europe Day, also known as VE Day, on May 8—“an aerial parade of enormous proportion recalling each of the historic battles that marched the allies forward to victory.” The flyover “will coincide with a ceremony for veterans at the National World War II Memorial.”

In Hawaii, programs and events “will signify the end of war in the Pacific and highlight our national transition from war to a global commitment to peace and friendship. Enemies, now friends, will stand shoulder to shoulder remembering, honoring, and confirming our collective hope for peace,” according to the committee’s website. 

On September 2, a ceremony at the USS Missouri at Pearl Harbor will be the culminating event of the Pacific theater observances, marking the September 2, 1945, signing of the surrender documents ending the war with Japan on the deck of the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay.

In a letter to the public, the Doles and Hope said the planned events “will preserve our nation’s memory of a time when the United States persevered with selflessness and courage in the face of tyranny.

“The accomplishments of the ‘Greatest Generation’ are too valuable to forget. Together, we can preserve the legacy of World War II and remind our nation of what can be achieved by the American spirit,” they said.

For more information visit the organization’s website, or click here to donate. 

AOPA ePublishing staff

AOPA ePublishing Staff editors are experienced pilots, flight instructors, and aircraft owners who have a passion for bringing you the latest news and AOPA announcements.
Topics: Events, US Travel

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