San Diegans can step back in time at a free special event honoring the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II. This celebration, seven decades in the making, will take place at 6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 15, on the flight deck at the USS Midway Museum.
The event is free to the public and will honor World War II veterans. To date, more than two dozen World War II veterans have confirmed they will attend, from former Army infantrymen to Tuskegee Airmen. With the assistance of their families, some are traveling from as far away as Arizona to be part of the event. The American Heroes Channel (formerly the History Channel) will be on board to record their oral histories.
“A priority of the USS Midway Museum is preserving the legacy of those who serve, and what more deserving group than the Greatest Generation?” Scott McGaugh, marketing director for the USS Midway Museum, said. “Sixteen million Americans defended our country in WWII, and today, we have fewer and fewer opportunities to shake the hand of a World War II veteran.”
The celebration will provide just such opportunities and more. In addition to meeting veterans from the Greatest Generation -- most now in their 90s -- celebration attendees can re-live the patriotism and entertainment of the time at a special screening of the “Bob Hope and His All-Star Pacific Tour, Live Musical Review,” courtesy of the World War II Museum in New Orleans. The variety show features a remarkable cast of look-alike celebrities, including Bob Hope, Judy Garland, the Andrews Sisters, Betty Grable and Carmen Miranda, among others.
Music of the era will keep the celebration swinging. Attendees are encouraged to dress in attire from the 1940s and dance on deck to the nostalgic sounds of swing and big-band music. Several local swing dancing clubs will be in attendance to show party participants how it’s done and to give free, on-the-spot lessons on multiple dance floors across the flight deck.
Come re-live the joy that swept San Diego when peace was announced 70 years ago. Visit the USS Midway Museum website at midway.org for the latest party details. Because the anniversary event is free, no tickets or RSVPs are needed. Members of museum staff encourage party-goers to use public transportation and exit at nearby trolley stops, as they expect parking lots to fill up quickly.