WWII Heritage Days 2018 Announced
Volunteers recreate the 1940s, spotlight Medal of Honor
Photos by Pam Wood Ellis
PEACHTREE CITY, Ga. (July 7, 2017) - Glenn Miller, Ration Cards, Spam, Willie and Joe. Salute the Greatest Generation during the Commemorative Air Force (CAF) Dixie Wing 15th Annual WWII Heritage Days, April 21-22, 2018. WWII Heritage Days is a bucket list destination for anyone who enjoys nostalgia, big band music, swing dance, historic aircraft, military vehicles, antique cars and vintage fashion. It is the largest annual 1940s themed event in Georgia and takes place at the CAF Dixie Wing Warbird Museum, Atlanta Regional Airport-Falcon Field, Peachtree City, Georgia.
“WWII Heritage Days is an immersion experience,” said Jennifer Johnson, Executive Director of the Peachtree City Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. “the sights and sounds will inspire people of all ages and walks of life to learn about the culture, history and legacy of the Greatest Generation.”
Throughout the weekend, over 300 volunteers provide portrayals of Allied and Axis troops and Hollywood stars, as well as education displays and activities for school-age children. In 2018, the group will spotlight the Medal of Honor, the highest and most prestigious personal military decoration awarded to U.S. military service members who distinguish themselves by acts of valor.
Historians consider the Second World War the pivotal event of the Twentieth Century, involving more than 30 countries and 100 million people from 1939 to 1945. The United States’ entry in the war in 1941 ultimately provided the Allies with a decisive advantage as the Arsenal of Democracy. Of the 16 million men and women who served in United States Armed Forces during World War II, the Veterans Administration estimates less than 620,000 are alive today.
“The CAF is best known as the largest flying museum in the world,” said Jay Bess, CAF Dixie Wing leader “but our mission is education. WWII Heritage Days is a living history classroom.”
Created during the American Civil War, the Medal of Honor is the oldest continuously issued combat decoration of the United States armed forces and is traditionally awarded by the President of the United States in the name of the U.S. Congress at a formal ceremony in Washington, D.C.
According to the Medal of Honor Historical Society of the United States, 3,515 Medals of Honor have been awarded to the nation's soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen since the decoration's inception, with 471 awarded for actions during the Second World War.
On Saturday evening, the romance and glamour of the Big Band Era will return during “Keep ‘em Flying”, a 1940s-theme hangar dance featuring a live 20-piece swing band. The evening is set in the CAF Dixie Wing Warbird Museum, decorated to recreate the ambiance of the period. The dance has become a regional tradition, selling out each of the last four years.
“Keep ‘em Flying” is a step back in time,” said Bess, “and a treat for anyone who enjoys the classic music, dancing and fashion of the 1940s.”
WWII Heritage Days and Keep ‘em Flying have drawn enthusiasts to Peachtree City from throughout the southeast. Past participating organizations include the Atlanta History Center, Kennesaw State University’s Museum of History & Holocaust Education, , American Rosie the Riveters Association, U.S. Army Signal Corps Museum, and Georgia Military Vehicle Preservation Association. Local civic organizations and schools are invited to participate.
For more information about WWII Heritage Days, please visit www.wwiidays.org.