Louisville's 'Spirit of '45' ceremonies honor WWII veterans

Louisville's 'Spirit of '45' ceremonies honor WWII veterans
The festival featured vintage airplanes. (Source: Todd Hoyer, WAVE 3 News)
The festival featured vintage airplanes. (Source: Todd Hoyer, WAVE 3 News)
The festival included displays of vintage war vehicles. (Source: Todd Hoyer, WAVE 3 News)
The festival included displays of vintage war vehicles. (Source: Todd Hoyer, WAVE 3 News)
(Source: Todd Hoyer, WAVE 3 News)
(Source: Todd Hoyer, WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - August 14, 2015 marked 70 years since Japan surrendered in 1945 ending World War II. In honor of the anniversary, a national, grassroots initiative known as "The Spirit of '45" planned several observances throughout the United States, including a number of events and ceremonies in Louisville on Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday's events began with special ceremonies honoring WWII veterans at a 6-hour festival at Hanger 5 on Gast Boulevard at Bowman Field. The festival included displays of vintage airplanes, restored military equipment and vehicles and war reenactors. The "Flags Ride for USA Cares" of more than 300 motorcycles saluted the veterans.

A special area in the hanger was set aside for veterans to exchange memories of their wartime experiences and record them for an oral history project.

"I think it makes people more aware of what we did in the service too which is kind of different from what we did today," said Richard Lewis, a WWII Veteran.

A Canteen Dinner Dance in Hanger 5 from 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday features a full buffet and non-alcoholic beverages. Entertainment is provided by the Ladies for Liberty, a well-known group of women who recreate the music of the 40s, and music for dancing by the Don Krekel Orchestra. Tickets for the dance are $45. Reservations can be made by calling 502-387-4412.

Sunday's events include ceremonies and wreath layings in national and state veterans' cemeteries in the area including Zachary Taylor, Cave Hill and Radcliff.

Specific times for wreath layings and additional information on Saturday and Sunday's events can be found here.

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