Washington, DC –– The Arsenal of Democracy Executive Committee and the Hawaii Commemoration Committee today jointly announced the Bob Hope Legacy, supported by the Bob & Dolores Hope Foundation, will be the Presenting Sponsor of the bookend events planned to remember and honor the 75th commemoration of the end of World War II. Their $1 million grant will support the activities taking place between May and September 2020. The Committees also announced today that Bob and Elizabeth Dole will serve as Honorary Co-Chairs of the commemoration, remembering and honoring the nation's veterans.
“I can remember my father, Bob Hope, telling us touching stories about how much he cherished the opportunity to bring a piece of home to the men and women of the 'Greatest Generation' serving our country both on the battlefield and the Homefront,” said Linda Hope. “In his memory the Bob Hope Legacy is thrilled to sponsor this event as our nation honors the men and women who served our country.”
The Bob Hope Legacy honors and preserves the “Spirit of Bob Hope,” underscoring his career as a supporter of U.S. military service members as he became a world class entertainer, comedian, patriot and humanitarian. The broader Bob & Dolores Hope Foundation was established to provide for and assure the continuation of the philanthropic ideals of Bob and Dolores Hope.
Honorary Co-Chairs of the commemoration, Bob and Elizabeth Dole, have devoted their lives to the impassioned support of veterans and initiatives to support military families. In addition to their work advocating for these groups while serving in numerous prominent roles in the U.S. government, Elizabeth Dole established her foundation in 2012 to strengthen and empower America’s military caregivers and their families by raising public awareness, driving research, championing policy, and leading collaborations that make a significant impact on their lives. Bob Dole has spent most of his Saturdays over the past 13 years at the National World War II Memorial, greeting groups of World War II veterans flown to Washington by the nonprofit Honor Flight Network. Additionally, he served as National Chairman of the World War II Memorial Campaign and is currently Finance Co-Chairman of the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission.
“We are very honored to represent the generation of World War II veterans, their families and those who served on the home front,” said Bob and Elizabeth Dole. “Through our roles as Honorary Co-Chairs, we hope to educate younger generations about how our nation rallied under the common purpose of safeguarding liberty and defeating tyranny. This 75th commemoration, which includes the dedication of the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial, will put a spotlight on the service and sacrifice of those currently defending our freedom – and those who have defended it in the past – around the globe. Our hope is that the events taking place in May 2020 in Washington, DC, and in Hawaii in late August and early September 2020, will serve as reminders to all that freedom is precious and must be preserved.”
The Arsenal of Democracy Flyover will take place on Victory in Europe (VE) Day - Friday, May 8, 2020 - to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe. As part of a five-day slate of educational and commemorative activities in and around the nation’s capital, the flyover will coincide with a ceremony for veterans at the National World War II Memorial, hosted by the Friends of the National World War II Memorial, and will consist of over 100 vintage warbirds of various types flying over the National Mall in 24 separate, historically sequenced formations. The formations will represent World War II’s major battles, from Battle of Britain through the final air assault on Japan and will conclude with a missing man formation. The Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission, led by Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS) as Chairman, will dedicate the Dwight D. Eisenhower National Memorial on the day of the flyover. This memorial is being constructed directly across Independence Avenue from the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum. It will honor Dwight Eisenhower as the 34th president of the United States and as Supreme Commander of Allied Forces in Europe in World War II, recognizing him as the last general to serve as president of the United States and one who led the Allied Forces to victory defeating Nazi tyranny.
“Today marks 74 years since the end of World War II, and one year until the Arsenal of Democracy 75th commemoration flyover,” said Arsenal of Democracy Executive Planning Committee Member and General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) President and CEO Pete Bunce. “On behalf of my colleagues, working to double the size of the highly successful gala and flyover we coordinated in 2015, we couldn’t be more grateful and enthusiastic to have an incredible organization like the Bob & Dolores Hope Foundation and extraordinary patriots like Bob and Elizabeth Dole to help lead our mission to honor our nation’s Greatest Generation, the sacrifices of our allies, and to remember the Holocaust.”
The Battleship Missouri Memorial and Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum will commemorate the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II in the Pacific with another five-day schedule of educational programs and ceremonies, highlighting the transition from war to a global commitment to peace and friendship, beginning on August 29, 2020, and culminating in a special ceremony on September 2, 2020. The September 2 ceremony will pay remembrance and tribute to the historic signing of the document of surrender on the deck of the Battleship Missouri on September 2, 1945, which brought World War II to an end. It will take place on Pier Foxtrot 5 in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, where the historic ship is permanently docked and is near the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum on Ford Island. Guests of honor will include those who witnessed the ceremony aboard the USS Missouri in 1945 as well as representatives of the signing nations, as part of activities that will span several days.
“The Battleship Missouri Memorial is honored to have the support of the Bob and Dolores Hope Foundation as we commemorate the end of World War II in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii,” said Battleship Missouri Memorial President and COO Mike Carr. “We are also grateful for the leadership of Bob and Elizabeth Dole as Chairs of this national event. In Hawaii, there will be five days of events to celebrate the sacrifices of the Greatest Generation, the men and women who fought to bring freedom to the world. Representatives from all the countries who signed the document which ended the worst conflict in the history of man will be present along with members of the armed forces who witnessed the event in Tokyo Bay on September 2, 1945.”
The commemorative events have received the full support of the U.S. Congress, through passage of legislation, “75th Anniversary of World War II Commemoration Act,” which President Donald J. Trump signed into law on January 10, 2019.
The Arsenal of Democracy Executive Planning Committee includes Pete Bunce, President and CEO of GAMA; Hank Coates, President and CEO of the Commemorative Air Force; John Cudahy, President of the International Council of Air Shows; Mike Ginter, Vice President of Airports and State Advocacy of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association; and Paul Rinaldi, President of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association. More information about the Arsenal of Democracy Flyover is available on the event website, www.ww2flyover.org. Members of the media should contact [email protected] for additional information.
The Hawaii Commemoration Committee includes Mike Carr, President and COO of the Battleship Missouri Memorial and Elissa Lines, Executive Director of the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum. Sponsorship and philanthropic support will be applied as required by the planning and execution committees of the 75th Commemoration of the end of World War II or as directed by the donor. Designation or endorsement as an official sponsor of the Commemoration, use of logo or trademarked properties to be directed to the official 75th Commemoration Committee. Residual funds available at the conclusion of the commemoration, if any, will be allocated by action of the 75th Commemoration Committees in support of the following historic and programmatic directions with focus on STEM impact and historic/memorial significance: Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum’s new World War II gallery, Friends of the National World War II Memorial, USS Missouri Memorial Association and the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum. For more information about sponsoring the Hawaii Commemoration Committee activities, please contact Elissa Lines at [email protected] or 808-441-1017 or Skip Lehman, at [email protected] or 585-727-4991.