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Legislation honoring the Greatest Generation signed into lawLegislation honoring the Greatest Generation signed into law

One of the first bills signed into law in 2019 by President Donald Trump pays tribute to the Greatest Generation. S. 3661, also known as the 75th Anniversary of World War II Commemoration Act, honors and remembers veterans who defended our freedom and died in service to our country by establishing a program to support commemorative events.

Four liasion aircraft fly in formation above the National Mall in Washington, D.C., during the Arsenal of Democracy: World War II Victory Capitol Flyover on May 8, 2015. A second Arsenal of Democracy Flyover is being planned for Friday, May 8, 2020. Photo by Mike Collins.

Introduced by Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), on Nov. 27, 2018, the bill passed both the Senate and House in late December and was signed by the president on Jan. 10. Along with honoring veterans, the program’s main goals are to educate the public about the history of World War II, highlight the service of those who served our nation on the home front during the war, recognize the contributions of our allies, and remember the horrors of the Holocaust.

Inhofe applauded the president for signing the bill, saying, “With the signing of the 75th Anniversary of World War II Commemoration Act, we not only have the opportunity to pay homage to the selfless sacrifice the Greatest Generation made in World War II, but we allow for the needed education of current and future generations about the war’s heroes and history.”

The legislation’s passage paves the way for the Arsenal of Democracy’s 2020 warbird flyover that will take place on May 8 to celebrate the seventy-fifth anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe and the Pacific. Nearly 100 vintage warbirds will participate in the event, which includes 24 separate flyovers in and around Washington, D.C. Some of the historic aircraft include the Curtiss P–40 Warhawk, Bell P–39 Airacobra, Lockheed P–38 Lightning, North American P–51 Mustang, Republic P–47 Thunderbolt, Vought F4U Corsair, North American B–25 Mitchell, Boeing B–17 Flying Fortress, and others.

“On behalf of all the members of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA), I’d like to thank Senator Jim Inhofe, Representative Sam Graves, and all the other elected officials who came together to pass the 75th Anniversary of World War II Commemoration Act,” said AOPA President Mark Baker. “Aviation played a pivotal role in the war effort, and AOPA is proud to participate in the Arsenal of Democracy: World War II Victory Capitol Flyover. When Americans young and old look skyward during the anniversary celebrations, they’ll be reminded of the bravery, selflessness, and ingenuity that defined the Greatest Generation.”

Amelia Walsh

Communications Coordinator
AOPA Communications Coordinator Amelia Walsh joined AOPA in 2017. Named after the famous aviatrix, she comes from a family of pilots and is currently working on her pilot certificate.
Topics: Advocacy, Capitol Hill, Warbird

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