Smithsonian Announces Massive VE Day Commemoration Plans

  • Apr 1, 2015 6:47pm GMT
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A selection of airplanes showcased in the “Arsenal of Democracy: World War II Victory Capitol Flyover,” will be on display outside the National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center Saturday, May 9, from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.

The day before, the aircraft will fly along the National Mall in historically sequenced warbird formations representing the war’s major battles, from Pearl Harbor to D-Day, and conclude with a missing-man formation to “Taps.” The museum will also hold activities at its National Mall building on the day of the flyover, Friday, May 8.

The “Arsenal of Democracy: World War II Victory Capitol Flyover,” staged in commemoration of VE Day (Victory in Europe Day, May 8, 1945), recognizes the individuals who fought in the war and served on the home front to produce the tanks, ships and aircraft that enabled the United States and its Allies to achieve victory.

The flyover, which will take place at noon, will be preceded by a ceremony at the World War II Memorial.“The Flyover presents us with a rare, outstanding opportunity to showcase historic aircraft that are maintained to fly,” said Gen. J.R. “Jack” Dailey, the John and Adrienne Mars Director of the museum. “It allows us to help bring to life the sights and sounds of the historic machines that were critical to our success in World War II.”

The museum will present a collection of audio clips focusing on the “World War II Victory Day Flyover,” which will be available for a limited time. Visitors will be able to hear historic news reports of the events that inspired the Flyover, listen to curators spotlight participating aircraft and hear WWII-era musical selections.

The audio clips will be offered online in the days leading up to the event and available to stream on visitors’ mobile devices during the Flyover.

“Fly-In to Victory Day: A Celebration of the End of World War II in Europe,” will take place at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Va. Approximately 20 historic airplanes from the flyover will be on display outside the Boeing Aviation Hangar. Through activities reflecting the WWII-era, visitors of all age groups will be able to:

- Learn about Victory Gardens - Hear tunes from the Airmen of Note and swing dance to music from the war era - Learn about the restoration of the Martin B-26B-25-MA Marauder “Flak-Bait” from curator Jeremy Kinney - Design camouflage or airplane nose art - Participate in a paratrooper design challenge - Listen to Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty during story time

“Fly-In to Victory Day: A Celebration of the End of World War II in Europe,” is made possible through the support of Thomas and Jamie Pumpelly.

For more details, visit the museum’s website. For updates and to participate in the conversation on social media, use the hashtag #WW2Flyover.

The National Air and Space Museum is on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., at Sixth Street and Independence Avenue S.W. The museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center is located in Chantilly, Va., near Washington Dulles International Airport. Both facilities are open daily from 10 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. (closed Dec. 25). Admission is free, but there is a $15 fee for parking at the Udvar-Hazy Center.