Reflections and Remembrances

Reflections and Remembrances : Veterans of the United States Army Air Forces Reminisce about World War II

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An anniversary gives us the opportunity to recognize the deeds of our predecessors, take pride in our heritage, show gratitude for our victories, reflect on our losses, and review the past with the benefit of the longer perspective of history. Each generation tends to see the past in terms of its own experience. History both illuminates what has lain hidden and reinforces what we know. For its 1995 observance of the fiftieth anniversary of the end of World War II, the Air Force History and Museums Program sponsored a series of commemorative events. One, a National Day of Recognition for Veterans of the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF), held on August 7th in the Washington, D.C. area, was celebrated at three locations. First, at the Pentagon's center court, Secretary of the Air Force Sheila E. Widnall and Chief of Staff of the Air Force General Ronald R. Fogleman, praised the veterans' numberless contributions to Allied victory in the war. The Air Force Historian, Richard P. Hallion, read a congressional resolution marking the day and then Lieutenant Colonel Donald S. Lopez, USAF, retired, spoke on behalf of all World War II airmen. A flyover by vintage USAAF aircraft capped the festivities. During the afternoon in a symposium at the National Archives and Records Administration, eleven USAAF veterans, in separate sessions covering the conflicts in Europe and Asia, reflected on their own wartime experiences of half a century ago. They spoke with clarity and authority and in remarkable detail on such topics as military preparedness, leadership, training, racial segregation, the treatment of American prisoners of war, military technology, the Allied invasion of Japan, and the use of atomic weapons. Historians Richard G. Davis and William T. Y'Blood presented overviews at the respective sessions. That evening, the Daughters of the American Revolution gave a reception in honor of the symposium participants and opened Constitution Hall for an outstanding musical tribute, which was performed before a packed house by the United States Air Force Band. Dr. Hallion, joined by General Bryce Poe, II, president of the Air Force Historical Foundation, hosted the symposium. Reminiscences and remarks are faithfully preserved herein.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 90 pages
  • 178 x 254 x 5mm | 172g
  • Createspace
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1508684928
  • 9781508684923