Commemorate V-E Day at the World War II Memorial

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Date: May 2, 2016
Contact: Mike Litterst, 202-245-4676

The Friends of the National World War II Memorial (Friends) and the National Park Service (NPS) will pay tribute to the Greatest Generation during a special Mother's Day event at the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. on Sunday, May 8, 2016 at 11 a.m. The ceremony commemorates the 71st anniversary of V-E Day, the formal acceptance by the Allies of Nazi German's unconditional surrender of its armed forces, marking the end of the war in Europe.

As part of the ceremony, nearly a dozen World War II veterans will lay wreaths at the "Freedom Wall" of the memorial in memory of the more than 400,000 Americans and 60 million people killed worldwide during the deadliest military conflict in human history. 

Norman Burkey, President of the American World War II Orphans Network, will serve as the event's keynote speaker and will provide personal remarks about his family's service during the war. Mr. Burkey was just five years old when his father, Army PFC Norman L. Burkey, was killed on March 12, 1945 while serving with the 10th Mountain Division in Italy. His mother, Anna Burkey, never remarried and raised all three of the children on her own. Mr. Burkey says that his mother, who passed away in 1995, is "as much a hero as my dad." 

Award winning journalist and news anchor for ABC7 and NewsChannel 8 –WJLA-TV, Leon Harris, will serve as the event's Master of Ceremonies. 

Friends Chairman, Josiah Bunting III, will speak on behalf of Friends, and Superintendent of the National Mall and Memorial Parks, Gay Vietzke, will speak on behalf of NPS. The Military District of Washington will provide military support for the event. 

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Last updated: May 5, 2016

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