Oregon Spirit of '45
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News Release
Brownsville ArmyAir Corps Honoree
Brownsville ArmyAir Corps Honoree
US Senator Ron Wyden Honors Oregon WWII Air Power and Home-front at Albany Veterans Day Parade, November 11 (Photo) - 11/10/17

WWII Veteran Eldon Gifford and English War Bride Joy Beebe will ride in WWII vehicles as nation commemorates WWII 75th Anniversaries, SUBMIT YOUR WWII HERO PHOTO

ALBANY: US Senator Ron Wyden will honor WWII "Greatest Generation" members, Army Air Corps Veteran Eldon Gifford and English War Bride Joy Beebe. From Air Power to the Home Front, Air Cadet Gifford and War Bride Joy Beebe represent the contributions of the entire "Greatest Generation" to support America and defend our freedom. They also represent a national and state campaign to KEEP THE SPIRIT OF '45 ALIVE, an organization that commemorates the achievements and virtues of the WWII Greatest Generation on the 2nd Sunday of every August to inspire future generations. Spirit of '45 Day coincides with America's 1945 V-J Day, August 14, 1945, culminating nearly four years of war during which 16.1 million Americans served and nearly half a million lost their lives.

This year, the Spirit of '45 commemorates the 75th Anniversary of the Doolittle Raid and features those WWII service members of the US Army Air Corps. In particular, those who fought and lost their lives in the April 18, 1942 Raid over Tokyo that lifted the morale of America after the attack on Pearl Harbor. "Our parade entry, with over 100 JrROTC cadets showcasing the "faces" of WWII men and women who put their lives on the line, will raise the emotion of viewers to "REMEMBER AND BE INSPIRED,'' said Barbara Jensen, Founder of the Oregon Spirit of '45, Inc. This Veteran's Day, special WWII honorees riding in our Command car include:

* Pvt. Eldon Gifford (Brownsville) served in the U.S. Army Air Corps, enlisting October 1944 and trained for the invasion of Japan. When asked why the Air Cadet enlisted, he said, "I wanted to participate and defend my country". And while he qualified for flight training, the war was nearly over, and fighter training was closed when he was ready. With his leadership training and the GI Bill, Air Cadet Gifford got a degree in architectural engineering. He spent a career with Boeing, continuing his flying interest as a private pilot and serving the American Legion. Eldon's value of service encouraged three of his sons to serve in the Army and Navy during the Vietnam conflict. Eldon's spirit and modeling, along with those of over 16 million other men and women, are the values of the WWII Generation we celebrate with the Spirit of '45 ... so as to inspire our youth. Gifford, 92 in 10 days; is escorted in the parade by his son, Bill.

* Joy Alicia Beebe (Keizer/Salem) lived through the bombing and Blitz of London and in 1944 met Corporal Carl Beebe, an American GI stationed at a nearby Tudor home. The Tudor site was a secret operation to break code and feed intelligence to Bletchley Park, allowing the Allies to curtail the war by two years and save countless lives. Joy and Carl were married just days before the end of the war in Europe on May 8, 1945. Joy sailed to America in 1948 and became one of a million war brides from 22 countries who took a chance on love and traveled to a foreign land. She wrote her memoirs at the age of 87, Snapshots of a War Bride's Life--about the effects of war on her family and life in America. Carl passed away in 1995 never knowing his service helped solve the end of the war. At 92 years young, Joy has 4 children, 4 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren and has lived in the same half-acre Keizer home for 60 years. Today, her great-granddaughter Serenity escorts her in the parade.

The Lebanon Army JrROTC Warrior Battalion will provide a color guard, drill/rifle team and cadets to honor the contributions of the WWII "Greatest Generation."

HELP US BUILD THE "WWII WALL OF HONOR -- FACES OF HEROES." Community members are encouraged to submit their WWII military hero photos to preserve their legacy on a Wall of Honor. Along with Oregon's 152,000 WWII service members, military photos from any state and any branch of service are welcome. Jensen confirms "All that is needed with your legacy photo is service member name, service branch, and hometown -- www.orspiritof45.org/photo."

In 2020, during the WWII 75th Anniversary, America will honor the achievements and virtues of our valiant men and women by displaying their 1940 era military photos at the National WWII Memorial in Washington D.C.
The Oregon Spirit of '45, Inc. is a 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to commemorating the achievements and virtues of the World War II generation, on the 2nd Sunday of every August, to inspire future generations. This Spirit of '45 day was Congressionally-endorsed in 2010 and state-legislated in 2013.

KEEP THE SPIRIT OF '45 ALIVE! is a non-profit, non-partisan initiative to preserve the legacy of the men and women of the Greatest Generation so that their example of courage, self-sacrifice, "can-do" attitude and commitment to community can help inspire a renewal of national unity in America at a time when our country once again must come together to meet historic challenges. Its goal is to establish an annual day of remembrance and national renewal to remind America of the values and accomplishments of the generation who endured the hard times of the Great Depression, fought to defeat the greatest tyranny in history, and then went on to rebuild their shattered world in an unprecedented effort to help assure a better future for both friend and former foe alike.

View more news releases from Oregon Spirit of '45.