The National World War II Museum remembers anniversary of VE Day and end of WWII in Europe, calls the Greatest Generation to New Orleans
NEW ORLEANS (May 6, 2009) – May, 8, 1945. Few announcements in modern history have ever been greeted with such joy as the announcement that Germany had surrendered to the Allies, ending World War II in Europe. The iconic images of happy throngs holding up the newspapers of the day found their way into countless scrapbooks and frames. Though Japan remained defiant, the joyous parades and street parties symbolized the relief that the war in Europe had ended.
“As anyone who lived through that event will tell you, VE Day marked the beginning of the end of the war that changed the world,” says The National World War II Museum President and CEO, Dr. Gordon “Nick” Mueller. “Following the successful D-Day landings at Normandy on June 6, 1944, it was a matter of time before the Allies achieved their ultimate victory.”
As VE Day is commemorated and the anniversary of the historic D-Day invasion approaches, the Museum’s plans are underway to honor the men and women who played a role in the war. The Museum is seeking the participation of all WWII veterans, their families, and the families of deceased WWII veterans for a special Museum ceremony on June 5, 2010. These individuals and families are urged to come to New Orleans for a “Gathering of the Greatest Generation,” to represent their individual states as part of the commemoration of the Normandy invasions that occurred 66 years prior. The weekend also marks the 10th anniversary of the Museum’s opening.
“We’re seeking WWII veterans from all branches of service,” says Mueller. “We’d like veterans and families from each of the 50 states to come to New Orleans to participate in our ceremonies to commemorate this important event in world history, to honor our veterans, and to teach the younger generations the price that was paid for our precious freedom.” Activities and events for all ages are scheduled throughout June 5-6. The 66th Anniversary weekend is sponsored by Chevron.
Veterans who would like to participate in America’s World War II Museum’s D-Day commemorative events should call 504-527-6012 x 333 or register online at www.nationalww2museum.org.
Keeping Memories Alive
Though World War II was the most pivotal event of modern times, the memory of the valor and sacrifice of America’s Greatest Generation grows harder to summon as the men and women who fought its battles both around the globe and on the Home Front pass away. World War II veterans are dying at the rate of 900 a day, and vanishing with them: the personal stories of epic battles and deeds of sacrifice and heroism that museums and historians must keep alive. The National World War II Museum in New Orleans is hard at work preserving the experiences of the veterans while educating the public on the sacrifices made by the Greatest Generation.
The National World War II Museum tells the story of the American Experience in the war that changed the world – why it was fought, how it was won, and what it means today. Dedicated in 2000 as The National D-Day Museum and now designated by Congress as America’s National World War II Museum, it celebrates the American Spirit, the teamwork, optimism, courage and sacrifice of the men and women who fought on the battlefront and the Home Front. For more information, call 877-813-3329 or 504-528-1944 or visit www.nationalww2museum.org. Follow us on Twitter at WWIImuseum or visit our Facebook fan page.