More than 100 World War II veterans will gather at the USS Midway Museum on Sunday to honor the 70th anniversary of the war.
The museum will host a "Spirit of '45" celebration -- one of its largest events since the museum opened in 2004 in commemoration of the major anniversary.
A WWII flyover featuring a B-25 bomber and a special tribute to the veterans in attendance will be one of the many highights of the evening. A USO variety show will feature performances by Bob Hope, Judy Garland and Andrews Sisters lookalikes, and there will be swing dancing and free lessons as well.
Organizers expect more than 3,000 people to attend the event. Veterans from Pearl Harbor, the Battle of the Bulge, the Japanese-American 442nd and more will be joined by family members.
The night will wrap up a victory fireworks celebration, all in an effort to recreate the jubilation felt by all when WWII was over, including our war heroes.
Admission to the event is free, but space is limited. Organizers recommend coming early as the event is first come, first serve. For more information, click here or call (619) 544-9600.
A few veterans gathered at the iconic "Kiss" statue near the USS Midway Museum to kick off the "Spirit of '45" festivities, including WWII vet Milton Lohr.
Lohr said the WWII era should never be forgotten -- especially those fallen service members who sacrificed it all and never got a chance to come home.
“I had a number of friends that I went to high school with that never came back,” Lohr told NBC 7, fighting back tears. “People did what they had to do. I don’t recall many people grumbling. Something had to get done, and they did it.”
Lohr said his generation returned from the war with a sense of overwhelming happiness and determination to make a good life on U.S. soil for themselves and their families. He said his fallen service members also inpired surviving vetereans to raise their families well and instill good values in their children.
Lohr attributes his life-long success as a government official and in industry and business after WWII in large part to the great start the made with the education he got using the G.I. Bill benefits he earned during the war.
“I think it took a lot of understanding of the troops and what they could do while in the service, and what they could do when they got out,” he said of his era.