THE LEGACY OF THE WWII GENERATION
Every day, memories of World War II are disappearing from living history. The men and women who fought and won this great conflict are now in their 90s or older; according to US Department of Veterans Affairs statistics, 119,550 of the 16.1 million Americans who served in World War II are alive as of 2023.
With less than 1 percent of the 16.1 million Americans who served during World War II still with us today, The National WWII Museum’s mission to tell the story of the American experience in the war that changed the world is more crucial than ever. Our Museum is committed to honoring those who secured the freedom we cherish and carrying on the legacies of the WWII generation into the future.
“Preserving the stories of the men and women who served in World War II has been at the heart of our institution since its founding,” said Stephen J. Watson, President & CEO of the Museum. “We have the enormous responsibility to ensure that the memories and experiences of the war will not be lost as those who lived through it leave this world. It is our hope that this Museum, built in honor of the WWII generation, will allow visitors to connect with history and the people who sacrificed so much during World War II for years to come.”
The graph below uses statistics from the US Department of Veterans Affairs to emphasize the urgency of our mission. The projections for each year are updated in September and reflect the 2023 statistics.