WASHINGTON, March 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Americans across the nation are
making plans to celebrate the dedication of America's first national memorial
to honor the men and woman who served in World War II both here and abroad.
With all 117,000 ticketed seats for the May 29th dedication of the National
World War II Memorial now spoken for, plans are underway to bring the ceremony
into the homes and hometowns of Americans everywhere.
World War II veterans across the country have been waiting for this moment
to arrive. Knowing many will not be able to travel to Washington to see their
memorial dedicated, communities and veteran service organizations are planning
local tributes on dedication day-in stadiums, city plazas, and American Legion
and VFW halls. A specially-produced broadcast of the noon pre-dedication
"Tribute" event and the 2 p.m. dedication ceremony that follows will be
available for viewing in these venues via satellite. Those wishing to learn
more about viewing events in their areas should contact their local veteran
service organizations such as the American Legion and VFW.
In addition, The History Channel and C-SPAN have each agreed to carry the
two-hour dedication ceremony "live" starting at 2 p.m. ET on Saturday, May
29th. These broadcasts will insure that virtually every American can pay
tribute to the members of the World War II generation.
"We are delighted that the veteran service organizations and The History
Channel and C-SPAN will make it possible for anyone in this country to take
part in this historic event," noted John P. Herrling, Major General, USA
(Retired), secretary of the American Battle Monuments Commission. "These
developments bring us closer to achieving our goal of bringing the ceremony to
the 3 1/2 million WWII vets who are still with us of the 16 million who served
in the war."
More than 60 percent of the 117,000 ticketed seats that day will be filled
by members of the WWII generation. Individuals who requested tickets should
already have received notification indicating how many tickets have been
reserved for them. Those with questions regarding their ticket order should
For those who will be in Washington over Memorial Day Weekend without
tickets for the dedication, a non-ticketed viewing area on the Mall has been
established that should accommodate about 10,000 individuals in seats and
another 30,000 standing room attendees. This area will be between 10th and
14th Streets, adjacent to the Smithsonian's National WWII Reunion described
Other Options for Those Without Tickets
The memorial should open to the public sometime in mid-April 2004, so
visitors may enjoy an early visit to the new memorial prior to the dedication
weekend events. The memorial will be closed on Saturday, May 29th for the
dedication activities. It will re-open as soon as is feasible later that
Smithsonian WWII Reunion, May 27-30, 2004
Coinciding with the dedication will be the "Tribute to a Generation:
National World War II Reunion," a major four-day event produced by the
Smithsonian Institution's Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage.
Admission is free and tickets are not required. The Reunion will take place
on the Mall between 3rd and 7th Streets. Highlights include:
* Reunion Hall: A Central Gathering Place for All
Veterans and their families are encouraged to socialize, relax, and get
acquainted with others and reconnect with their service colleagues.
* Wartime Stories: Voices of a Generation
Come in for a chat with prominent WWII veterans and war workers.
Narrative sessions, and interviews on a variety of topics will be featured in
* Veterans History Project Pavilion
The Library of Congress Veterans History Project will present
interviews, speakers, and exhibits that showcase first-hand accounts collected
from men and women, civilian and military, who served during the war.
Information and workshops on how to write, record, and preserve personal
histories will be provided.
* Preserving Memories
Experts from museums and archives will advise veterans and their
families on how to preserve documents and material culture of WWII, such as
letters, scrapbooks, diaries, maps, photographs, memorabilia, medals,
uniforms, etc. Weapons will not be permitted.
* Building the WWII Memorial
Members of the architectural, engineering, landscape, and construction
teams will discuss their roles in creating the memorial. This pavilion will
also feature an exhibition by the City Museum of Washington on the planning
and building of the memorial.
* Veterans Services
Representatives from the Department of Veterans Affairs, federal
agencies and other veteran service organizations will assist veterans and
their families. Information on veteran's resources and benefits will be
* Family Activities: Passing It On
Families of all ages are invited to move from station to station,
engaging in hands-on activities relating to the World War II period.
* Homecoming Stage & Capitol Canteen Stage
Share the sights and sounds of dance and music from the World War II
era (big band, swing, boogie-woogie, military music, and more) in these two
* Military Equipment Display
Throughout the Reunion site will be displays of military artifacts and
equipment relating to World War II.
America Celebrates the Greatest Generation -- 100-Day Summer Tribute
WWII generation members also can make plans to visit Washington, D.C. and
the memorial throughout the summer to take part in a citywide, summer-long
celebration called "America Celebrates the Greatest Generation." The
celebration, produced by the American Experience Foundation in partnership
with the Washington, DC Convention & Tourism Corporation and Cultural Tourism
DC, will kick-off Memorial Day weekend and continue through Labor Day weekend.
More than 80 WWII-themed exhibitions, performances, and walking tours, as
well as hotel packages, are planned throughout the region-an unprecedented
100-day collaboration among the region's cultural, historic and hospitality
venues. Scheduled events include:
* The Associated Press's Images of World War II at Union Station
* Corcoran Gallery's America's Four Freedoms on loan from the Norman
* Spies Among Us at The International Spy Museum
* Images of Memory: WWII Combat Art at the Marine Corps Museum &
For more information regarding the ABMC dedication events, please visit
For more information on the Smithsonian's National WWII Reunion please
For more information on "America Celebrates the Greatest Generation"
events visit: www.americasgreatestgeneration.com
SOURCE American Battle Monuments Commission