Mon, May 06, 2013

Alaska World War II Remembrance Days


This Saturday, May 11, marks the 70th anniversary of the beginning of the Battle of Attu. Governor Sean Parnell has dedicated this week as Alaska World War II Remembrance Days. Several events around the state will honor veterans and remember this historic event in Alaska’s History:
Thursday, May 9 – Alaska WWII Remembrance Day in Anchorage. Historical and musical tribute by the Alaska Veterans Museum and the Russian American Colony Singers, St. Patrick’s Parish Hall, 2111 Muldoon Road, 7pm. Tickets are $20 in advance (centertix.net) or $30 at the door. Admission for WWII veterans is free of charge. For WWII veterans’ invitations please call 907-677-8802.
Friday, May 10 – Red, White, Blue and Black in Anchorage. Screening of Tom Putnam’s documentary about the Battle of Attu, featuring veterans Bill Jones and Andy Petraus, Dimond High School, 7pm. Admission $10, $8 for veterans. Find out more about this film at www.alaskainvasion.com.
Saturday, May 11 – Wreath Laying Ceremony in Fairbanks, Alaska-Siberia WWII Monument in Griffin Park, 11am.
Saturday, May 11 – Alaska WWII Remembrance Day in Fairbanks. Historical and musical tribute by the Alaska Veterans Museum and the Russian American Colony Singers, Alaska Centennial Center at Pioneer Park, 2pm. Tickets $15 in advance (centertix.net) or $20 at the door. Admission for WWII veterans is free of charge. For WWII veterans’ invitations please call 907-677-8802.
Saturday, May 11 – Red, White, Blue and Black in Anchorage. Screening of Tom Putnam’s documentary about the Battle of Attu, featuring veterans Bill Jones and Andy Petraus, Dimond High School, 7:30pm. Admission $10, $8 for veterans. Find out more about this film at www.alaskainvasion.com.
Alaska Veterans Museum in Anchorage – Displays and information about Alaska in WWII. The museum is located at 333 West 4th Ave. Open from 10am-5pm Wednesday-Saturday, but summers hours start on Memorial Day, 10am – 6pm Monday-Saturday.
Do you want to find out more about how WWII affected our state? There are lots of ways to do so!
Check out the Alaska Historical Society’s website here: https://alaskahistoricalsociety.org/index.cfm/discover-alaska/FAQs/12
Wander into a museum! The Anchorage Museum’s permanent exhibit on Alaska History has an entire section on Alaska at War, and the temporary exhibit Arctic Flight. Also check out Anchorage’s Veterans Museum, the Kodiak Military History Museum, Fairbank’s Pioneer Air Museum, the State Museum in Juneau, and a host of others around the state for more info on WWII in Alaska.
Plan a visit (or a virtual visit!) to the Aleutian World War II National Historic Area. Their website has great features on the Aleutian campaign, the Aleut POW situation, and the tragic and forcible evacuation of nearly 900 Unangan (Aleut) people from their homes). www.nps.gov/aleu. You can also read about the National Park Service’s “Lost Village Project” here: http://www.nps.gov/akso/history/lost_villages.cfmand here: http://www.nps.gov/akso/nature/science/ak_park_science/PDF/2011Vol10-2/attu-a-lost-village-of-the-aleutians.pdf
Read a book! There are hundreds of publications about Alaska during World War II. Here are some to start with:
Alaska At War, 1941-1945: The Forgotten War Remembered, 1995, edited by Fern Chandonnet

The Thousand-Mile War: World War II in Alaska and the Aleutians, 1969, by Brian Garfield

Journal of An Aleutian Year, 1988, by Ethel Ross Oliver

Attu Boy, 2012, by Nick Golodoff

Last Letters from Attu, The True Story of Etta Jones, Alaska Pioneer and Japanese POW, 2009, by Mary Breu