Keeping the spirit of ’45 alive

By CHRISTINE BOATWRIGHT / Staff Writer

MONTEVALLO – Bugles will sound across America on Aug. 14 as the nation remembers the 66th anniversary of the end of World War II.

“Congress passed a resolution last year that recognized the 65th anniversary of the end of World War II. The resolution basically says that the second Sunday of August every year will be recognized as observance of that day to commemorate the anniversary of the end of World War II,” said Bob Barefield, chairman of the Support Committee for the Alabama National Cemetery.

Keep the Spirit of ’45 Alive will be held at the Alabama National Cemetery in Montevallo on Aug. 14 starting at 6:30 p.m. Barefield said attendees should arrive no later than 6:15 p.m., as the program will start promptly at 6:30 p.m.

“Keep the Spirit of ’45 Alive is a nationwide program. It starts with bugles playing ‘Taps’ on the east coast at 7 p.m. local time, and each time zone will play ‘Taps’ at 7 p.m. It ends in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii with them playing ‘Taps’ at 7 p.m. local time,” he said.

The remembrance in Montevallo will hold a reenactment of the flag raising at Iwo Jima, the Pledge of Allegiance led by WWII Merchant Marine veteran Bucky Walter, patriotic music provided by Alabama singing group Homeland and the resolution read by Alabama State Rep. Paul DeMarco.

A message from Edith Shain will be read by Rachel Clinkscale, past national president of Gold Star Wives of America. Edith Shain was the nurse being kissed by the sailor in the iconic 1945 picture in Time Square. Shain advocated the founding of the Keep the Spirit of ’45 Alive day of remembrance, Barefield said.

The day of remembrance will also feature a 21-gun salute by the Alabama National Guard Military Funeral Honors, and 10 buglers will play “Taps” at 7 p.m. Barefield said if weather cooperates, an overhead fly-over will take place.

The Support Committee for the Alabama National Cemetery and Bugles Across America in Alabama are the sponsors for the remembrance ceremony.

“It really is to pay our respects to what the WWII generation did, not only those in the war, but also on the home front,” Barefield said. “We’re losing them rapidly, and we want to honor them.”