McHenry to celebrate 'Keep the Spirit of '45 Alive' Day
McHENRY – McHenry’s observance of “Keep The Spirit of '45 Alive” Day will take place at 5 p.m. Aug. 12 at Veteran's Memorial Park.
Congress has designated the second Sunday of August as a national day of remembrance honoring members of “The Greatest Generation” and the end of World War II.
McHenry’s events the past two years have gained national recognition for the city and the Combined Veterans Organization, organizer Ron Bykowski said in a news release.
This year, the history and efforts of McHenry's three local veterans organizations – American Legion Post 491, VFW Post 4600, which is celebrating its 65th anniversary, and Polish Legion of American Veterans Liberty Post 188 – will be honored and recognized.
The program will consist of honor guards, a rifle salute and taps played by at least 18 buglers. A release of 21 white doves is planned.
WWII vets will have reserved seating in front of the gazebo, making it easier for them to be with family and friends, Bykowski said.
In keeping with what “The Spirit of '45” observance is all about, the city will have an appearance by the Lakes Area Swing Band, an 18-piece 1940s-style swing band led by Holly Frederich, performing a 1940s radio broadcast with guest Lou Rugani of WLIP AM-1050, Kenosha, Wis.
Rugani has been with WLIP for more than 20 years and is sure to bring back memories of the golden age of “swing."
Plans are being finalized for an appearance of the “Kiss Seen Around The World" statue. The larger-than-life sculpture immortalizes the moment when, in celebration of the end of World War II, Aug. 14, 1945, a sailor kissed a nurse in New York’s Times Square.
Food and beverages will be available at the event.
Nationally, “Keep The Spirit of ’45 Alive” is collecting service photos of WWII veterans to be included in the National Wall of Honor to be displayed Aug. 12 at the National WWII Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Also, “Spirit of '45” is collecting photos of couples that were together during WWII to included in a giant mosaic that will be displayed in Times Square on Aug. 14 to mark the anniversary of the “Kiss Seen Around the World.”
Photos can be submitted at www.spiritof45.org.
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