The 75th World War II Commemoration Committee, which comprises a cross-section of industry leaders, current and former government leaders, and military and other notables, is stepping up a public fundraising drive in preparation for the festivities upcoming in 2020.
Bookending the commemoration are two key tributes: the Arsenal of Democracy Flyover to be held on May 8 in remembrance of the end of war in Europe (Victory in Europe or VE day), and events on September 2 in Washington, D.C., and Oahu, Hawaii, in remembrance of the end of war in the Pacific. September 2 marks the anniversary of the Japanese signing surrender documents on the deck of the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay.
The flyover, accompanied by five days of educational and commemorative activities, will comprise more than 100 vintage warbirds of various types flying over the National Mall in 24 separate, historically sequenced formations. Another five-day program is scheduled during the events to celebrate the end of the war in the Pacific, culminating in a special ceremony at the USS Missouri in Pearl Harbor.
“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,” said GAMA president and CEO Pete Bunce, representing the Arsenal of Democracy Executive Committee and the 75th WWII Commemoration Committee.
“These events will preserve our nation’s memory of a time when the U.S. persevered with selflessness and courage in the face of tyranny,” wrote Honorary co-chairs of the 75th WWII Commemoration Committee, Senators Bob and Elizabeth Dole, joined by Linda Hope, who represents the Bob Hope Legacy as part of the Bob and Dolores Hope Foundation, the presenting sponsor of the 75th WWII Commemoration. “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.”