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Come visit us as we will be participating in the East Hartford Memorial Day Parade
on Monday, May 29th at 10:00 am.
We welcome you to the World War II Legacy Foundation!
Origins of the World War II Legacy Foundation, Inc.
The Iwo Jima Survivors Association, Inc. and the Building and Dedication of the National Iwo Jima Memorial Monument
The Iwo Jima Survivors Association, Inc. was formed in 1988 by Survivors of the World War II Battle of Iwo Jima lead by their Founder and President, Dr. George Gentile. The Survivors successfully raised funds to build the National Iwo Jima Memorial Monument on the town line of Newington and New Britain in Connecticut near Central Connecticut State University. The memorial was unveiled and dedicated on February 23, 1995, the 50th Anniversary of the raising of the American flag on Mt. Suribachi, Iwo Jima Island. The Iwo Jima Survivors designed the memorial and were "hands on" in building it, doing much of the site work themselves. It is not a replica of the memorial in Washington, DC., but is also based on the famous photo by Joseph Rosenthal.
Support Our Survivors of Iwo Jima and the Building
and Dedication of the Iwo Jima / World War II Museum
Shortly after the memorial dedication, a small group of volunteers had dedicated themselves to assisting the Iwo Jima Survivors in all their activities. In 2009, the Survivors needed assistance in their Mission and asked those volunteers for help. This dedicated group of volunteers was named Support Our Survivors of Iwo Jima. The Survivors had talked about building a museum on the grounds of the memorial but after years of raising only a small fraction of the necessary funds, it was decided the project would be unfeasible due to the cost of construction and other factors. Support Our Survivors of Iwo Jima stepped in and proposed the idea of building a traveling museum. The Iwo Jima Survivors liked the idea. Support Our Survivors of Iwo Jima planned the design of the museum and after using their own funds to purchase an older used truck and new trailer, they began construction. With the help of some of their other caring supporters and friends, a small amount was raised to help complete the project. The Iwo Jima / World War II Traveling Museum was unveiled in 2017 and Iwo Jima Survivors were on hand to cut the ribbon and tour it for the first time during "Operation Thank You" at the Iwo Jima Survivors Victory Ride.
Collaboration of a Common Mission Leads to a New Organization
Support Our Survivors of Iwo Jima and the Iwo Jima Survivors Association, Inc. worked hand-in-hand for years on many projects beside the museum. Some of those were the Iwo Jima Survivors Victory Ride, VJ Day Candlelight Ceremony of Remembrance, area parades, birthday remembrances, historical presentations and memorabilia displays, among others.
As the variety and number of projects increased, it became confusing to try to explain to others the differences and similarities among the different Iwo Jima organizations. Our mission also broadened into honoring ALL World War II Veterans, not just those who served at Iwo Jima. We had family and friends who served in both the European and Pacific Theater of Operations and in many of those significant battles. ALL their individual stories were interesting and ALL of them deserved to be remembered and honored. Our peer connections and group of volunteers had grown to include many talented people whose own work, we had admired. Thus, we decided to officially join forces and work together as one. We decided this collaborative team would be called the World War II Legacy Foundation, Inc. This decision was made with the approval, support and guidance of the Iwo Jima Survivors and other World War II Veterans who inspire us every day to keep on doing what we do. This collaboration allows us to move from being a self-funded, volunteer organization to a non-profit organization which could apply for grants and accept donations to achieve our goals long into the future. A demonstrated "Conduct of Respect" for each World War II Veteran, "Volunteer Service" to the Mission and "Integrity in Actions" are some of the requirements each of our volunteers and members adhere to.
Our Mission Statement
“The Mission of the World War II Legacy Foundation is to Remember and Honor the men and women who served during World War II and on the Home Front. This is accomplished by acquiring, preserving and displaying artifacts from World War II and creating educational programs, research opportunities and events which educate and inspire the public to learn more about World War II and which honor the Legacy of the World War II generation.”
The Four Pillars of the World War II Legacy Foundation
Never forget all those who served in World War II stateside or in foreign lands, the families they left behind and
those who supported the war effort on the Home Front. Help to preserve the Legacy they left us so that future generations will remember their service and sacrifice.
Honor all those who served in the Armed Forces during World War II by treating them with respect and kindness.
Honor the memory and Legacy of those who have passed.
Inspire others to continue to Remember and Honor those who served and motivate them to learn more about
the lives of those who served and the history of World War II.
Create and provide educational presentations and displays that Remember and Honor those who served during
World War II and the people of the world who were affected by it. Provide tools for and assist those who would
like to research or learn more about many aspects related to World War II.
Past and Present Activities of the World II Legacy Foundation, Inc.
There was never a shortage of ideas to Honor and Remember the men and women who served in World War II and the Home Front. Here is just a small sample of the past and present projects and activities we are doing. We invite you to join us:
Create and hold special events:
Iwo Jima Survivors Victory Ride
Operation Thank You
Flag Day Open House
VJ Day Candlelight Ceremony of Remembrance
Anniversary of the Battle of Iwo Jima Virtual Reunion
Reunion to Commemorate the End of WWII
Recognition and Respect of our Veterans:
Visit WWII Veterans on their birthday or send a card
Organize or participate in Drive By Parades
Legacy Brick Program
Honor and Remembrance Poster Display of World War II Veterans
Honoring those who have passed:
Send messages and cards of condolences to families
Attend funerals of our WWII Vets to respect them and their families
Visit and place flags on graves
Iwo Jima / World War II Museum:
Display of the Museum at senior living facilities, libraries, parades, parks, shows and schools and funerals by special request.
Recognize WWII Vets through photos, displays and stories
WWII Helmet Project
Research for creation of displays to honor the servicemen and women of WWII
Engage in Radio and TV interviews
Present lectures and slide shows about Iwo Jima and various WWII topics
Assist other groups with WWII related activities
Flag placement on graves
Cleaning of local WWII Memorials
Conduct tours of National Iwo Jima Memorial
Design and create fliers, banners, postcards and posters
Donate and Support other Veteran causes
Visit and attend other military museums or World War II reunions to acquire knowledge to pass on to others through our Mission.
Committee Chairmen and Honorary Board Members of the Woody Williams Foundation that built the Connecticut Gold Star Families Memorial Monument in Berlin, CT
Here are just a few of our activities and events we have worked on.
We welcome you to join us in our Mission!
We are Grateful to our Generous Sponsors
Click on the image for a link with more information about our sponsor.
Visit our SPONSORSHIP page to find out how you can become one of our special sponsors too!
Your name could be here
How to Contact Us
World War II Legacy Foundation, Inc.
C/O Gary Roy
61 Matthew Road
East Hartford, CT 06108
Call to make an appointment to view the
World War II Museum.
We gratefully accept donations of memorabilia to be placed on loan for the WWII Museum.