By: Amy Beth Dobbins | Category: In Our Communities | Issue: July 2017
The Military History Center in Broken Arrow.
"We heard the commotion. Cars were blowing their horns. Everybody started throwing ticker tape out of the windows like confetti. It looked like snow.” On August 14, 1945, young soldier, Frank Riesinger, was on a short leave in his hometown, Tulsa, before being re-stationed at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois when the news came that Japan had surrendered, ending World War II.
Feeling that V-J Day had not received sufficient local recognition, Frank set out to organize a celebration. With the help of a handful of veterans and the invaluable support and financial backing of the Military History Center and AVB Bank, V-J Day will be properly recognized and celebrated at the third-annual ceremony this year. “AVB Bank is proud to serve the many men and women that have and do serve our military. We are honored to participate in the celebration of the end of World War II…and we pay tribute to their service and our fallen heroes,” explains Kelli Sowell, Executive Vice President of AVB Bank.
Thomas P. Mancino, Brigadier General, U.S. Army (retired) serves as the President of the Board of Directors for the Military History Center and will act as Master of Ceremonies.
The event will include patriotic music led by the accomplished Stephen Goforth and Maggie Bond, Miss Tulsa 2017, as well as a flag presentation and recognition of all veterans or active military members that have sacrificed in defense of this country.
Master Sgt. Paul Andert, U.S. Army (retired), will be a featured speaker. Andert fought in seven major campaigns in North Africa and Europe with the 2nd Armored Division, earning the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Purple Heart and Crox de guerre. He is also an author and founder of All Veterans Association, Inc.
Sr. Master Sgt. Dan Snow, U.S. Army (retired), an associate of Congressman Jim Bridenstine, will also be a featured speaker.
Everyone is invited to join in the 72nd Anniversary Celebration of V-J Day on Saturday, August 12, on the lawn of the Military History Center, 112 N. Main Street, Broken Arrow. The ceremony will kick off at 1:30 p.m. The museum will open its doors at 10 a.m., however, and admission is free on that day.
“It was the greatest war the world has ever known,” recalls Frank. “No other country has ever done so much as we did during World War II. Every American should attend some celebration.”
Frank Riesinger, WW II Vet and Organizer and Jamie Wheeler, AVB Bank, Assistant Vice President, with a monument to Veterans at the BA Military History Center.
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