Commemorating the 75th Anniversary of World War II

Straight Talk with Sam

On May 8, 1945, Winston Churchill announced that the Allies had secured Victory in Europe. Later that year, Japan would finally surrender, and World War II would end. It’s hard to believe but in 2020, we will mark the 75th Anniversary of the end of the war.

Known as the “Greatest Generation,” our World War II veterans made incredible sacrifices and did so without expecting any honor in return. Yet, it is so critical that we continue to honor and thank them along with their families as well as those who made great contributions to the war effort here at home.

We must always remember and celebrate our victory in World War II. As our veterans continue to age, we lose more and more of them every year. As a result, we lose not only stories and memories but a constant reminder of those who served in ways some will never know. We also lose the chance to say thanks.

Earlier this month, President Trump signed the 75th Anniversary of WWII Commemoration Act which will ensure that we are able to properly recognize our veterans, educate the public about the history of WWII, as well as honor our allies who fought alongside our servicemembers to win the war.

One major event that this bill authorized is a flyover of the National Mall in Washington, D.C., with WWII-era planes in celebration of the end of WWII in Europe and the Pacific. The flyover will take place on May 8, 2020.

As a pilot of WWII-era fighter planes, it was my honor to help pass this bill through the House. Aircraft such as the P-40 Warhawk, P-51 Mustang and the B-17 Flying Fortress, along with nearly 100 other vintage warbirds will take to the sky in a stunning display reminiscent of what was seen overhead during the war.

Just as I did during the 70th Anniversary flyover when I led the missing man formation in the TBM Avenger, it will also be my honor to fly again during this flyover. I would encourage anyone thinking about a trip to the Capitol in 2020 to try to be there on May 8th for this historic occasion. This will be an incredibly moving sight and is an awesome way to commemorate the end of the war.

It’s hard to believe that so many years have passed since the end of World War II. Our current generation and the ones to come must continue to hear and see the history of the “Greatest Generation” who secured the freedoms we hold dear today. I’m glad we are already preparing now for a monumental celebration next year.


Sam Graves