World War II vets honored at Spirit of ’45 event.

Photo of American who fought in World War II, helping to achieve a victory for liberty.
Photo of American who fought in World War II, helping achieve a victory for liberty.

This morning a special Spirit of ’45 wreath laying ceremony was held on San Diego’s Embarcadero, right next to the USS Midway Museum. The area is known as the Greatest Generation Walk, and is dotted with monuments and memorials remembering those who fought in World War II. Today’s event took place at the heels of the large Unconditional Surrender statue, created by artist Seward Johnson. The sculpture was modeled after the iconic photograph of a sailor spontaneously kissing a nurse in New York City’s Times Square upon learning the war was over. How appropriate!

The Spirit of ’45 is an organization and series of events around the country that honors Americans who served in the Second World War. Most of these local tributes are held on or around the happy day the war finally ended, V-J Day, but today’s February ceremony was held in conjunction with a national conference. It kicks off the historic 70th anniversary year of commemorative events.

I got lots of pics!

Color guard is ready prior to Spirit of '45 kick off event by USS Midway Museum.
Color guard is ready prior to Spirit of ’45 kick off event by USS Midway Museum.
Only 5 percent of those who fought in World War II remain alive today. Those who participated in the war effort were honored and remembered with gratitude.
Only 5 percent of those who fought in World War II remain alive today. Those who participated in the war effort were honored and remembered with gratitude.
The Star Spangled Banner is sung as audience listens on San Diego's Embarcadero.
The Star Spangled Banner is sung as audience listens on San Diego’s Embarcadero.
Thanking a genuine hero. Gratitude was expressed throughout the special ceremony.
Thanking a genuine hero. Gratitude was expressed during the special ceremony.
Young man in Junior ROTC speaks about family members who defended freedom and serve today.
Young man in Junior ROTC speaks about family members who defended freedom and others who serve today.
Dignitaries, veterans and military people on stage for presentation of first wreath.
Dignitaries, veterans and military people on stage for presentation of first wreath.
After presenting the first wreath, photo of last American killed during World War II is carried by a hero.
After presenting the first wreath, photo of Philip Schlamberg, last American killed during World War II, is carried by a hero.
Rosie the Riveters are introduced and thanked for their service. They presented the second wreath.
Rosie the Riveters are thanked for their service. They presented the second wreath.
Introducing a British war bride, who thanked Americans for saving Great Britain and freeing Europe from the Nazis.
Introducing a British war bride, who thanked Americans for saving Great Britain and freeing Europe from the Nazis.
About to bring red, white and blue carnations over to the third, final wreath.
About to bring red, white and blue carnations over to the third, final wreath.
Everybody attending is invited to insert a flower, to honor those who served their country in World War II.
Everybody attending is invited to insert a flower, to honor those who served their country in World War II.
A special flag awaits nearby on the grass.
A special flag awaits nearby on the grass.
People from the audience make their way to participate in a patriotic spectacle.
People from the audience make their way to participate in a patriotic spectacle.
Many hands get ready to unfurl the huge flag on the grassy area between the Unconditional Surrender statue and Bob Hope Tribute.
Many hands get ready to unfurl the huge flag on the grassy area between the Unconditional Surrender statue and Bob Hope Tribute.
The giant billowing flag is unfurled by everyday citizens proud and happy to be free.
The giant billowing flag is unfurled by citizens proud and happy to be free.
People carefully hold up the American flag in a tribute to fallen heroes.
People carefully hold up American flag in a tribute to fallen heroes.
The Stars and Stripes is displayed on the Greatest Generation Walk.
The Stars and Stripes is displayed on the Greatest Generation Walk.
Photo of three wreaths and flags after the crowd has dispersed.
Photo of three wreaths and flags after the crowd has dispersed.
Young band members relax in the San Diego sunshine.
Young band members relax in the San Diego sunshine.
Singers perform nostalgic Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy after ceremony.
Singers perform nostalgic Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy after ceremony.
Small model of Seward Johnson's Unconditional Surrender sculpture is on display.
Small model of Seward Johnson’s Unconditional Surrender sculpture is on display.
The iconic kiss is planted right in front of my camera lens!
The iconic kiss is planted right in front of my camera lens!
Keep the Spirit of '45 Alive!
Keep the Spirit of ’45 Alive!

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Published by

Richard Schulte

Downtown San Diego has been my home for many years. My online activities reflect my love for writing, blogging, walking and photography.

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