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National Spirit of ’45 Day – August 14, 2023

Every year on August 14, the National Spirit of ’45 Day is observed. The goal of this day is to raise public awareness and engagement in recognizing America’s “Greatest Generation,” as enacted by the U.S. Congress in 2010. Its commemoration coincides with the anniversary of August 14, 1945, when the news that “the most destructive war in human history” had ended sparked worldwide celebrations, and the U.S. immediately began laying the foundations for a better future for its children and their children’s children, as well as its former enemies and allies. The traits attributed to the Greatest Generation — personal responsibility, humility, integrity, frugality, grit, and forbearance — are all those that were honorably earned.

History of National Spirit of ’45 Day

The invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany, led by Adolf Hitler, is widely seen as the start of World War II in 1939. Subsequently, both the U.K. and France declared war on Germany in September. Germany captured or controlled much of continental Europe in a series of conflicts and treaties from late 1939 to early 1941 and created the Axis alliance with Italy and Japan. On June 22, 1941, the world’s largest land combat was launched on the Eastern Front when Germany led the European Axis countries in an invasion of the Soviet Union.

By 1937, Japan had declared war on the Republic of China. Japan attacked the U.S. and British colonies in December 1941, prompting the U.S. to declare war on Japan. In unison, the European Axis powers declared war on the U.S. only days later. In 1944, the Western Allies invaded German-occupied France, while the Soviet Union recaptured lost territory and focused on Germany and its allies.

With the liberation of German-occupied countries and the invasion of Germany by the Western Allies and the Soviet Union, the war in Europe came to an end on May 8, 1945, with Hitler’s suicide leading to Germany’s unconditional surrender. On August 14, 1945, Japan proclaimed its intention to surrender, and on September 2, 1945, Japanese officials signed the Instrument of Surrender, ensuring the Allies’ decisive triumph in Asia.

National Spirit of ’45 Day timeline

1996
The Initial Documentation Project

In 1996, a project that pairs children with seniors to document their memories from World War II is launched.

2009
The Spirit of '45 Day in Talks

In 2009, spokespersons Ernest Borgnine and Edith Shain discuss establishing a day to honor WWII veterans.

2010
The Spirit of '45 Day Inauguration

Congress passes a joint resolution commemorating the 65th anniversary of President Harry S. Truman's announcement of World War II's end.

2015
The Growing Popularity

U.S. governors issue state proclamations in all 50 states noting the Spirit of ‘45 World War II 70th Anniversary Commemoration.

National Spirit of ’45 Day FAQs

How did the U.S. become a global power after World War II?

The U.S. was in a unique space to preserve and lead post-war peace, it assumed a greater leadership role with the establishment of the United Nations in 1945.

Where can we watch the “Spirit of ‘45?”

It’s available on Apple TV, YouTube, and Google Play Movies.

What exactly are the Rosies and what part did they play in World War II?

The Rosies were a group of women who created history on the Home Front during World War II by establishing a nationwide network of rose gardens.

How to Observe National Spirit of ’45 Day

  1. Visit the webpage for the Spirit of '45

    To find events for the forthcoming Spirit of '45 Day, register on the Spirit of ‘45 organization’s website. In the meantime, you can read their archive of former events.

  2. Meet with a World War II veteran

    On this particular day, have a meeting scheduled with a veteran. Ask permission to record an interview with a member of the Greatest Generation as you meet with them.

  3. Visit the museum in New Orleans

    Visually experiencing an event beats hearing about it. By viewing the National World War II Museum in New Orleans, you may utilize this time to plunge into history and discover new stories. Use the hashtag #NationalSpiritOf45 to also share this experience on social media.

5 Interesting Facts About The Greatest Generation

  1. The greatest generation

    This term is used to describe the people born between 1901 and 1924.

  2. Traits of the greatest generation

    These people are said to have personal responsibility, humility, and a determined work ethic.

  3. The origin of the term “Greatest Generation”

    The term is credited to television journalist and author Tom Brokaw who wrote a book entitled “The Greatest Generation.”

  4. Financial prudence during World War II

    The financial prudence of the Greatest Generation is highly recognized.

  5. Golden age of Hollywood

    The Greatest Generation birthed famous names, such as Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, and Paul Newman, and makes up what is considered the ‘Golden Age of Hollywood.’

Why National Spirit of ’45 Day is Important

  1. It honors veterans

    It's a way to honor and preserve the legacy of America's WWII generation of men and women. It makes and ascertains that the accomplishments and sacrifices made are remembered.

  2. It takes us back in time

    World War I and II were pivotal periods in human history. The spirit of '45 Day reminds us of our history and the sacrifices that have brought us to this point. This day helps us maintain awareness of what occurred at the time and the effects of the war.

  3. It raises consciousness

    This day is utilized to raise awareness of veterans' contributions as well as the effects of war. It allows us to obtain a better understanding of what occurred at the time.

National Spirit of ’45 Day dates

YearDateDay
2023August 14Monday
2024August 14Wednesday
2025August 14Thursday
2026August 14Friday
2027August 14Saturday

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