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Local veterans attend World War II Heritage Days

PEACHTREE CITY, GA. – Nineteen veterans and volunteers from Forever Young Senior Veterans participated in the 15th annual World War II Heritage Days festivities in Peachtree City, Ga.

This year’s event on April 20 attracted numerous veterans and relatives who engaged in the nostalgia of the 1940s, including historic military aircraft and vehicles, World War II reenactments, Big Band music, vintage fashion and an array of memorabilia from the era.

“A huge highlight of the trip was the opportunity for some of our local veterans to take a flight in the restored B17 Flying Fortress Bomber,” Tom McKinney said. McKinney, a Vietnam War veteran, serves as Americanism Chairman for Madison American Legion, Post 229.

“The B17 at Dixie Wing has been recognized by ‘Air Classics’ magazine as the best restored B17 currently flying in the world,” McKinney said.

The event at the Commemorative Air Force was staged in the Dixie Wing Warbird Museum at Falcon Field. “Heritage Days is an immersion experience,” Jennifer Johnson said. Johnson is Executive Director of the Peachtree City Convention and Visitors Bureau.

“The sights and sounds inspire people of all ages and walks of life to learn about the culture, history and legacy of the Greatest Generation,” Johnson said.

More than 300 volunteers portrayed members of Allied and Axis troops and Hollywood stars. Children enjoyed educational displays and activities. The Medal of Honor was emphasized this year.

In addition, Freedom Belles performed from the hangar stage with rousing patriotic music, reminiscent of the Andrews Sisters. Demonstrations depicted Rosie the Riveter, the Pearl Harbor attack and a field hospital.

An evening dinner was held in the Dixie Wing Hangar, followed by the romance and glamour of the Big Band Era during “Keep ’em Flying,” a 1940s-theme hangar dance with a 20-piece swing band.

The museum was decorated in period ambiance. The band performed tunes made famous by Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey and Benny Goodman, along with other inspiring music.

Forever Young Senior Veterans of Alabama supports trips and events for veterans who are older than 65 years. Recently, four Alabama veterans travelled to Pearl Harbor. To learn more about local events or to donate to Forever Young Senior Veterans of Alabama, visit foreveryoungvets.org/alabama.

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