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Keeping the Spirit of '45 alive - 2007

by SofS Staff - August 15, 2007

The First Annual day of Remembrance and Reflection is a great success!

On August 12, 2007, hundreds of Californians joined us at the History Park in San Jose to pay tribute to our World War II veterans and to re-capture the "Spirit of '45" that defined America's war effort and how it rebuilt the post-war world...


Re-enactors help set the tone, led by Stories of Service Head Educator Chris Johnson (on right)

Attendees entering the park on this beautiful Sunday were transported back in time as music from the era filled the air, courtesy of Swing Solution and the Singing Blue Stars.  Led by local dance instructor Adrian Flores, youth and seniors hit the dance floor, kicking up their heels to the vintage tune. 

Re-enactors representing five different armies helped set the tone, by setting up headquarters tents, bringing in jeeps and other classic military vehicles and offering more adventurous passers-by white bread and Spam sandwiches. 


Honored guests and dignitaries greet the crowd from the stage

A highlight of the day was the introduction of our guest of honor - Edith Shain, the nurse in the famous photograph of the kiss in Times Square on V-J Day. 

Wearing her nurse's uniform, Edith recalled the excitement and emotion of that historic day, and encouraged everyone in attendance to continue their efforts to preserve the legacy of the men and women who won the war and shaped the peace. 

Other special guests include Patrice Servantie, Consul-General of France,  City of San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed, Council Members Pete Constant and Forrest Williams, and Head of the Chamber of Commerce Pat Dando.



WWII vet and Stories of Service advisor Peter Radonich (in uniform) enjoys the proceedings
An educational component to the day was provided by a series of panel discussions on the impact of the G.I. Bill, the experiences of women and minorities in the war, and the post-war world and Marshall plan. 

Attendees had the opportunity to hear about these issues from men and women who experienced them, and to ask questions and provide their own insights.

* * * * *

We would like to thank the AMVETS California Service Foundation, History San Jose, The History Channel, the Hornet Museum, the Rosie the Riveter Memorial and all the other groups and individuals who helped may this First Annual Day of Remembrance and Reflection a success!

Our goal is to continue and expand this annual event, so that the legacy of the WWII generation will be honored and remembered for years to come.  See you next year at the Second Annual...!

More Photos

Our team greets Edith Shane (the V-J Day kiss nurse) at San Jose International Airport

The Singing Blue Stars and Swing Solution take the crowd back to the 1940's...

Full circle... Layton Warn (Pearl Harbor survivor), dances with Edith Shain (from the V-J Day kiss)




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