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Spirit of 1945 is alive in the Treasure Valley

Posted: 5:58 PM, Aug 14, 2016
Updated: 2016-08-14 20:05:06-04

A ceremony at the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery Sunday honored the legacy of what's being called "the greatest generation of our nation."

While the exact date of World War II's end is not universally agreed upon, some consider August, 14 1945 the day it came to a halt. Japan's formal surrender was on Sept. 2, 1945.

Regardless of technicalities, the Treasure Valley ceremony was a chance to recognize the sacrifices made by WWII veterans and their families.

Those who served in the military during that time frame still think about the friends they lost to the war decades ago.

One WWII veteran remarked that his friends, a pilot, radio man and a tail gunner, went on a mission and never came back.

There was also a chance for veterans in the audience to share their stories.

The overall hope is that their stories will not be forgotten.

"That's one of the purposes up here today.. is to get excitement into the people below them in age and remind them that if it hadn't been for them, we wouldn't be where we are today," said Command Sgt. Major Phil Hawkins, a Vietnam veteran and volunteer coordinator at the Idaho State Veterans Home in Boise.

A surprise for organizers, the musical performers arrived and realized they had toured together in the past entertaining troops. It had been 46 years since they had seen each other.

"We're a country where we can make decisions and we can do things and without them [WWII veterans] we would not be able to do that," Hawkins concluded. "We will never, ever be able to pay back what they have done for this great nation."

To help keep the spirit of 1945 alive, those at the veterans home in Boise have something special planned for the upcoming Veterans Day parade in Nov. They're looking for grandchildren and great-grandchildren of WWII vets to walk in the procession carrying enlarged photos of their loved ones.

For more information, give them a call by dialing (208) 780-1600.