Tagged: Guam

KEEP THE SPIRIT OF ’45 ALIVE

USS MissouriKissFlagsKEEP THE SPIRIT OF 45 ALIVE IN 2015.
To do so is to preserve the legacy of the Greatest Generation, the men and women who served in WWII, including those on the home front. This year is the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II.

In 2010, Congress passed House Concurrent Resolution 226, supporting a national day of remembrance. The day to remember is August 14th, 1945. “We want to recapture the spirit of that generation and give a reminder of the fact that people today share DNA with those who achieved so much in 1945. This is the last chance to celebrate this spirit while there are still surviving men and women of this generation;” said Warren C. Hegg, “Keep the Spirit of ’45 Alive’s” national supervisor.

Among the Spirit of ’45 Day activities are wreath-laying ceremonies, big-band swing dances, observances at professional sporting events, World War II aircraft flyovers, concerts, open houses at senior living communities, and “kiss-ins” to re-enact the famous victory kiss between a sailor and a nurse in New York City’s Times Square on Aug. 14,1945.

Jerry Yellin Fighter Pilot over Iwo JimaJerry Yellin vividly remembers Aug.14, 1945, the ¬ final day of World War II. While returning to Iwo Jima with fellow pilots after flying his P-51 Mustang on a strafing mission over Tokyo that day, Yellin said, “I found out that my wingman was killed.” Upon landing at Iwo Jima, he then learned that the war had ended just hours before, making his wingman, 1st Lt. Philip Schlamberg, one of the war’s ¬ final casualties.

Now, nearly 70 years later, Yellin wants the nation to remember Schlamberg and all those who sacrifi-ced so much to win the war. Yellin, an Air Force Association (AFA) member who turns 91 in February, has been travelling across the country as national spokesman for “Keep the Spirit of ’45 Alive.”
I was privileged to meet and interview Jerry Yellin on a trip to Guam and on to Iwo Jima with the “Military Historical Tours” of Woodbridge, Virginia in 2010. His story is featured in my book “Pain and Purpose in the Pacific.” Read more »