"Lest" you think that Lest We Forget is a new organization or that all we do are WWII Re-enactments, please review the following list to see the breadth of activities LWF has either sponsored, supported or produced.
BRINGING PATRIOTISM INTO THE SCHOOLS AND COMMUNITY:
LEST WE FORGET has a goal of preserving, promoting and disseminating the memories of men and women who fought for the freedoms enjoyed by the citizens of the USA. "To Brighten the Future We Must Illuminate the Past!"
"Lest We Forget" is a result of the Lest We Forget WWII, Korea and Vietnam documentaries produced by the Berrien County Intermediate School District in Berrien Springs MI. These videos produced in 2001-2003 have won national awards for their excellence.
In 2006 Lest We Forget became a 501(c)3 non-profit organization with the goal of promoting patriotism within the community Since then here are some of our accomplishments:
LWF Celebration, Nov 5-9, 2006 - This celebration featured over 30 hours of veterans stories, music, military vehicles and noted speakers. LTG Robert VanAntwerp, a graduate of a local high school and now responsible for Army manpower spoke on patriotism. Robert Heft, who designed the current 50 star American flag, summed up the celebration by saying, "in almost 50 years I have participated in over 9,000 patriotic events and the LWF celebration in SJ was the biggest and finest event I've ever participated in." Several thousand people attended.
LWF Veterans Float in Blossomtime Parade - Twenty seven veterans from all conflicts rode on a float and participated in the fashion show. In the 101 year history of Blossomtime this was the first time veterans were so honored. LWF appreciates the opportunity to participate in parades and other community functions.
LWF Honors CPT Konstantins Lubavs - "Connie" was the first casualty from Berrien County to be killed in Vietnam (Feb 7, 1966) and LWF provided funds for the Konstantins Lubavs room at WMU ROTC. He was a 1962 WMU ROTC graduate and a graduate of Watervliet HS.
LWF Class on WWII - In the fall of 2007 WWII veterans conducted a class at Lake Michigan College on WWII. The class was the largest attended community education class ever held at LMC. Over 400 students signed up for the two semester course.
LWF Veterans History Project - LWF has published a book with 85 WWII stories, "Wartime Memoirs of SW MI Residents" that was distributed to schools, libraries and the stories will be forwarded to the National Library's Veterans History Project. A second book featuring stories of all conflicts from WWII to Iraq will be published in the near future.
LWF Flag Folding Demonstration and Placement of Flags on Veterans Graves - Due to declining availability of veterans there was a problem in placing flags on veterans grave for Memorial Day. A local middle school organized sixth grade students and asked LWF to come to the school to talk on the significance of the flag. The folding of the flag was explained and a 15 minute presentation turned into a two hour presentation holding the students spellbound as they asked numerous questions. The teachers were amazed at the student's attention.
LWF Booth at Berrien County Youth Fair, mall and airport - In 2006 LWF sponsored a Master Modeler with dioramas of famous battles at the Fair. The display was held in the Historical Bldg and the attendance was the greatest that they've had in the history of the building. LWF also had booths at a display of community agencies at the local mall and a fly in at the airport.
LWF Telecasting of LWF Videos - Each fall and spring the BCISD telecasts the LWF videos of WWII, Korea and Vietnam. LWF provides veterans for these telecasts and they enjoy presenting their experiences to students throughout the U.S. and to interact with them.
LWF Patriotic Concert on Nov 11, 2007 at Howard Performing Arts Center, Berrien Springs - A "Tribute to Veterans" was played by the Southshore Concert Band. In addition to the music, bugle calls by John Nelson, civil war soldier act by Bob Myers, and presentation to John E.N. Howard for his service during WWII.
LWF Bus Trip on March 1, 2008 to WWII Victory Museum in Auburn, IN - This is one of the largest displays of WWII equipment in the world.
Blossomtime Parade Float Featured WWII vets-2008 - Eight WWII vets rode the patriotically decorated float and received thunderous applause from the parade watchers.
LWF Participation in St Joseph Memorial Day Parade and Service on May 23, 2008
WWII Re-enactments-2008 - The Re-enactments featured beach landings and ground battles, USO show, military vehicle show and parade, veteran's stories and speakers such as an Ernie Pyle re-enactor, LTG VanAntwerp and Bob Heft. Bob is the designer our nation's fifty star flag. Over 12,000 people attended.
LWF Sponsors WWII History Display at the Berrien County Youth Fair - This display of WWII history and veterans stories was arranged by LWF member Marv Abbott and it attracted over 8,000 visitors. This exhibit and the one in 2006 attracted record number of visitors.
WWII Book Signing at Lincoln Library, Aug 2008 - Over 35 authors signed books and told their stories to a very appreciative audience.
LWF Korean War Class at Lake Michigan College, Fall and Winter 2008-9 - This class featured the stories of the Korean vets and attracted over 100 signups.
LWF Trip to Gettysburg, PA and Washington DC, Oct 1-5, 2008 - This trip included tours of the White House, Capitol and Pentagon, a walking tour of the US Naval Academy and a day and night visit to the memorials.
LWF Patriotic Concert on Nov 9, 2008 at Howard Performing Arts Center - featured South Shore Concert Band and Korean Medal of Honor recipient Ron Rosser.
LWF Trip to Charles Town, WV to honor WWI veteran Frank Buckles - Frank is the last survivor of WWI. LWF presented a 20' flagpole, American flag autographed by Bob Heft and the Spirit Flag autographed by designer of the flag Dale Hemphill. A very moving ceremony!
LWF Concert and Book Signing, Whitcomb Residence, Feb 22, 2009, 2 pm - This will feature stories in the WWII book and singing by Kevin Blair.
LWF is Seeking Authors for Wartime Memories - Stories will cover all conflicts from WWII to the present and will be in the same format as the first book "Wartime Memoirs of SW MI Vets"
LWF Trip to Vietnam, April-May, 2009 - This 20 day trip will tour North and South Vietnam.
LWF WWII Re-enactment and Patriotic Celebration, 17-21 June 2009 - This will feature a reunion of the "Forgotten 500" airmen rescued in Operation Halyard during WWII, Iwo Jima MOH Hershel Williams, Tuskegee pilot and POW Alexander Jefferson, D-Day and Pacific beach landings, Iwo Jima flag raising, parachute drops, aerial show by war birds, hangar show and dance, veterans stories, military vehicle show and convoy and much more.
LWF Vietnam class at Lake Michigan College, Fall and Winter 2009-10 - This class will be led by Vietnam veterans.
LWF Trip to Gettysburg, PA and Washington DC, Sept 30-Oct 4, 2009 - This tour will be similar to the 2008 tour except it will feature different places to visit.
LWF Trip to Military Museums: WWII Victory Museum, Auburn IN: Air Force Museum, Dayton OH; Patton Museum Ft Knox, Naval Air Museum, Pensacola FL; Military Display at Mobile AL, WWII and D-Day Museum, New Orleans, LA; and Grand Ole Opry, Nashville. Dates TBD
LWF June 17th to 20th, American Veterans Traveling Tribute - Lest We Forget will again honor the memory and sacrifices made by all veterans by bringing to St. Joseph the travelling Vietnam Memorial Wall. Produced by the American Veterans Travelling Tribute, it is the largest travelling wall exhibit in the United States. At 375 feet long, it will be erected at St. Joseph High School. Programs including music, patriotic presentations, demonstrations and displays will fill the long Father's Day weekend with activities and educational opportunities for the family. The U.S. Army Recruiting Services will bring back their climbing wall, simulators and fun for everyone. The 20th Century Museum will display hardware, vehicles and memorabilia of our nation's military history. These large dioramas invite the public to touch and play with historic military equipment. The Huey helicopter 'Medivac 369' will be back as well. A special feature this year will be the honoring of the 4,000 War Dogs that served in Vietnam and are credited with saving the lives of over 10,000 servicemen. These special canines will be represented by veteran war dog handlers demonstrating the heroic roles they played in the war.
Coming up . . .
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