tv American History TV CSPAN September 21, 2014 7:00pm-7:51pm EDT
the way for an army of construction workers. the weather, and operation blue jay performed a miracle of engineering, killed miles of runways and barracks and warehoueses. its importance is best understood by looking at the map. it could lay a vital role in deterring aggression. -- play a >> on august 14, 1995, japan surrendered to the allies. that day which came to be known as victory over japan day marked the end of world war ii. next on american history tv, a ceremony commemorating v.j. day from the national world war ii memorial in washington, d.c. george prescot bush, grandson of president h.w. bush, marks the day 70 years ago when his grandfather was shot down over the pacific while serving as a fighter pilot in the u.s. navy. the national parks service and friends of the national world war ii memorial hosted this
event. >> thank you very much. good morning, ladies and gentlemen. on behalf of the friends of the national world war ii memorial board of director and our chairman, general mcclickliter, welcome to the world war ii memorial. it's a distinct honor to be a part of your ceremonies as we commemorate the 69th anniversary of v.j. day. as citizens of a grateful nation, we salute those of the greatest generation who helped save the world from tyranny. we also offer a special salute to this generation, another great generation, a generation of men and women of our armed forces who are presently serving in the ongoing war on terrorism. their service is greatly appreciated. to all these warriors and
veterans, past and present, we owe a great debt of gratitude and our lasting appreciation for their service to our country. again, i want to thank you all for being here today and special thanks to our veterans for your service and sacrifices for our nation. ladies and gentlemen, i'm pleased to introduce the official party now for today's v.j. commemoration, our keynote speaker for today's event, mr. george prescot bush. >> it's a long walk, mr. bush. the chairman of the board for friends of the national world r ii memorial, general mckickliter. [applause] >> from the military district of washington, colonel chaplin
>> please be seated. i also want to introduce to you to robert voguele, superintendent of the national mall and miller parks national park service and here's the chaplin to give the invocation. >> let us pray. >> oh mighty god, today we gather in remembrance and in thanksgiving. remembrance of a great and costly victory over a tyranny that threatened not only america but the whole world. and we gather in thanksgiving for the men and women who served both home and on distant and ic waters and shores
lands, who sacrificed so much to achieve that victory. lord, we give you thanks, grateful that you inspired and strengthened so many countrymen and unselfish service. many, even to the cost of their own lives, who we commemorate at this memorial. their courage and valor ensured the freedoms we enjoy today and continue to provide an inspiration and an example to those of us who strive to add our own contributions to the security, prosperity, and peace of our beloved country. bless our commemoration here and all its participants. may this observance render true honor to those countless numbers who made it possible and foster true devotion to you, to our country, and to the define and democratic values of
freedom, of justice, and of peace we hold so dear. men. >> thank you, sir. i am so pleased to be with you here today, especially this day. v.j. day, as you know, is a special day of this country and a day we commemorate the end of world war ii and a day we celebrate the unity and spirit of the american people who together helped to end the war. and it is a day when we can celebrate the same unity and spirit that has allowed us to turn our former enemies into allies and friends. as you heard mentioned, on the 50th anniversary of the attack of pearl harbor, i produced a documentary in hawaii to commemorate that event. one member i interviewed was a salty sea dog named john fin. as a navy petty officer on
december 7, 1941, john finn grabbed a 50 caliber machine gun and mounted it on an instruction stand. despite being wounded 21 times, chief finn fired on japanese aircraft from that exposed position for two solid hours. he was one of 15 men awarded medals of honor for their heroic actions that day. and when i asked john finn for an interview, he said ok but none of that hero stuff. he did not use the word "stuff" either. they had him in the parade and he wouldn't stay in line because he kept running out of line to shake hands with people and say hello to people. i fell in love with the guy. at the end of the day, i said, hey, chief, will you adopt me? he said, i don't have room for you, he had five foster kids at home. and he did. all native american kids. john finn died may 27, 2010, at
the age of 100. a member of the greatest generation. many thanks to superintendent voguele and the national park service, the caretakers of this memorial for their exemplary efforts to maintain this memorial and to bring honor to the greatest generation. we're pleased to partner with the national park service in an effort to preserve the legacy of this memorial and to co-host these special events with them. now representing the national park service, mr. robert vogle, superintendent of the national mall and memorial parks and national park service. mr. vogle. >> thank you. and good morning. on behalf of the national park service, it is my great honor to welcome you to your world war ii memorial and to the national mall and memorial parks. for over 10 years, this
memorial has stood on the national mall to commemorate in bronze and granite the undying gratitude of a nation. to those veterans of world war ii who are here with us today and to all those who have so valiantly served their nation since, we thank you and offer our solemn promise that your sacrifices shall never be forgotten. on this special victory over japan day, we're honored to have with us businessman, philanthropist, civic leader, and veteran, mr. george prescot bush as our keynote speaker. we welcome you to the world war ii memorial. i would also like to recognize a couple other people here. we have general kelly who is the former chairman of the
american battle memorial commission and someone who was a key leader in the creation of this wonderful memorial. and he didn't just stop in, he still serves as a key leader in the friends of the world war ii memorial. i would also like to recognize the chairman of the friends of the national world war ii memorial, mckickliter. the general has served our nation for more than 50 years, first as an army officer and after his retirement in positions at the departments of state, defense, and veterans administration. the friends of the national world war ii memorial are trusted partners in our shared mission to ensure that the legacy and sacrifices of the world war ii generation are never forgotten. and i would also like to take a special opportunity today to
recognize the wonderful men and women who are here today and are here every day wearing the yellow hats and the yellow shirts. i would ask you to take a moment and to thank them for their service as volunteers here at the world war ii memorial. [applause] >> we truly could not do it without you. 69 years ago today, the battle ship u.s.s. missouri sat in tokyo harbor, an iron witness to a quiet end to the most destructive conflict in human history. supreme commander of the allied forces, general douglas mcarthur summed up the occasion saying today the guns are silent.
a great tragedy has ended. a great victory has been won. the skies no longer rain death. the seas bear only commergs. men everywhere walk upright in the sunlight. the entire world is quietly at peace. and the peace that followed this greatest generation did not rest, going on to build the highway system and defend the world against communism and step foot on the moon. as the superintendent of the national mall and memorial parks and as the very proud son of a world war ii veteran, i am very honored every day to be entrusted with the care and protection of this memorial. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you, mr. vogle.
general p.x. kelly, former commandant of the marine corps was instructor of the basic school when i was down the road in quantico, an undistinguished member of golf company which he refers to as the infamous golf company. i don't think that's a compliment. also here with us today to represent the ceremony, the ceremony's co-host, friends of the national world war ii memorial, is lieutenant general mckickliter. ladies and gentlemen, general mckickliter. >> good morning and on behalf of friends of the national world war ii meryl board, let me extend my welcome that you've come to commemorate the 69th anniversary of the allied victory of world war ii as a
war came to an end in the pacific. as you heard, 69 years ago today, the japanese formally surrendered aboard the battleship u.s.s. missouri in tokyo bay and this brought to an end, finally, world war ii. mr. peterson, thank you so much for being our master of ceremonies. you've done this before. i can't add to all the great things that was said about you when you were introduced, but i would add that you're a american veteran and throughout your career, you've taken a special interest in taking care of those men and women who are serving our country, and you've also done a great deal for our veterans. and sir, thank you for being here. admiral luther, i know you're a ery bitsy -- busy man on the navy staff, and it's great to have you here, sir.
and george p. bush, we look forward to hearing your remarks, especially about your grandfather's service in world war ii. today marks the 70th anniversary of presidents bush 's miraculous rescue when he was shot down in the pacific. if that rescue had not occurred, there would be a lot of bushes that would be out of our history. and we also know that among the many things that you've done in your life, you're currently serving in the reserve as a naval officer, and you've already had one tour of duty in afghanistan. it's always an honor to welcome a special friend, general p.x. kelly who has been a friend for so many years and one of my heroes i admire, former commandant of the marine torp, also the former chairman of the board of the american battle monuments commission who you heard say did an awful lot to make this your monument a
reality. and he said to me before coming in, the highlight of his career was the day that he stood up here on this platform and said to president bush 43, mr. president, it's my high honor to present this memorial to the american people. let's give general kelly a round of applause. [applause] >> there's so many other distinguished guests here today. ladies and gentlemen, we gather at this magnificent national world war ii memorial to remember those who served in world war ii and their families. and to commemorate the end to the most destructive war in history. an estimated 60 million people lost their lives in that war. mostly were women and children and the elderly who got overrun
by the war. millions were murdered in slave labor camps, in concentration camps and death camps just because of their ethnic background, religious beliefs, and political affiliations. oday we also remember those 16 million americans who took -- who walked away from civilian life and put a uniform on to defend this nation. we also remember the 400,000 who gave all their tomorrows. and that's a high price to pay when you're 18 or 19 years old. but they gave all their tomorrows so we can live in this strong, free and beautiful america that we're proud to call home, and those 400,000 are represented behind me on the gold stars on the wall of freedom. they fought that war against great odds and the outcome was certainly not certain.
but the world war ii generation fought and won that war, and not only saved this nation, but with our allies, they literally saved the world. many of the friends on the board of directors have been involved in this memorial from the inception to the dedication , and they continue to work to support this wonderful memorial. we're privileged to work to ensure the legacy, the lessons learned from that war, and the unity of this nation which never has been greater and the sacrifice of all those who honored -- we honor today are never forgotten. to accomplish this mission, we work closely and proudly with the department of defense, with the milwaukee district of washington, and the national park service to share this sacred memorial with all of our world war ii veterans and their
families. and all americans and from people all over the world. a special thanks to mr. robert vogle and that great national parks service team who in a very superb manner take care of this magnificent memorial. and is truly a sacred place to come to remember, to reflect, and to commemorate the defining moments of that war, as we're doing today as we honor those who serve. , would you ld war 2 stand or raise your hand so we can say thank you for this great nation you gave us, the land of the free and the home of the brave. would you raise your hand or please stand?
>> we can never repay you for the great sacrifice and service that you provided in such a time of peril. i thank all of you for coming this morning to help us honor our world war ii veterans and their families. god bless all of our veterans and all of their families, and especially, lord, please bless the men and women who are serving today and coming off the battlefields in iraq and satisfying. what -- and afghanistan. what a magnificent job they are and have been doing. god bless america. thank you very much. >> thank you very much. and thank you, too, world war ii veterans. we're very appreciative with what all the friends of the world war ii memorial have done and continue to do to thank and
honor our world war ii veterans and their families. i've reached an age where some of the people i worked with asked me if i fought in world war ii. my answer is, well, right after the japanese attack on pearl harbor, i tried to enlist but was only 3 years old, my mother wouldn't sign for me. you know, it's one of those regrets you carry with you your whole life. we're privileged to have with us today the navy ceremonial band who now will perform a patriotic salute to our veterans. ♪
introduce our keynote speaker, mr. george prescot bush. mr. bush is a part of the next generation of texas leaders. he's a successful businessman, philanthropist, civic leader, and veteran dedicated to advancing conservative values. while many of us know him as the grandson of president george h.w. bush, the son of former governor jeb bush and the nephew of president george w. bush is known to his friends, business partners and colleagues as a leader with broad convictions, broad experience in many areas, and fresh perspectives. in 2006, mr. bush joined the u.s. naval reserve through the prestigious direct commission officer program. in 2010 he began an eight-month tour of duty in afghanistan in support of operation enduring freedom out of the special operations command. among other service decorations, he was awarded the joint service accommodation
medal for his meritorious service. ladies and gentlemen, it's now my pressure to welcome george prescot bush to the podium. mr. bush? >> appreciate it. [applause] >> good morning, everybody. thank you for having me. it is truly an honor to join you this morning at this very special venue. i want to acknowledge all of our distinguished guests, including general kelly, all of our distinguished visitors that come from all parts of our great country to join us on this amazing anniversary of v.j. day. it is truly an honor to have been invited to represent my family to join us on this morning here in d.c. 69 years ago, the guns fell silent in the pacific. and when the smoke had cleared, a new world truly had emerged. against huge odds and against an enemy that refused to surrender, america emerged victorious in world war ii.
it was important that america won the war but it was just as important that america won the peace. the heroes of the greatest generation didn't just defeat japan, they rebuilt japan. they didn't just fight against tyranny, they fought for freedom. and today that fight goes around the world as american troops remain the last and yes, the best hope for preserving freedom. of course, none of us would be here today if america hadn't won in the pacific theater. but it was due to the countless american men and women who wore the uniform and bore the burden of fighting in the greatest war. i say this because i have an important mission this morning. i came here bearing a clear message that i want each and every one of you to hear loudly and clearly. it is a message from my generation to yours.
and that is thank you. thank you for all that you have done to preserve the great freedoms that we as americans sometimes take for granted. thank you for putting time on hold, both on the home front and certainly on the front lines to preserve the many freedoms that we enjoy today. and thank you for pressing on in the tremendous difficulties ahead of us and pressing against a rising tide of tyranny. today our nation once again faces grave threats from the forces of evil. once again we have been called into the breach to answer that call that americans have always heard, and that's to do the hard work of freedom. standing before this, the greatest generation, let me assure you that my generation will not fail you. we will not drop the baton, the
ageless tradition of duty, honor, and country that you painstakingly pass forward. your example, your selflessness, your undying love of country that led you to the valley of war and destruction to the greener pastures of peace and prosperity. it will remain an inspiration. indeed, i hope you will forgive a very proud grandson this morning in noting that the young men and women serving on the u.s.s. george h.w. bush is today in an area of hostilities and is saving the lives of innocent families in that area of the world. and that her crew continue to draw upon the inspiration of her ship's namesake on a daily basis. if he were here today, he'd say this is not about him, this is about you and all that you have done to make this country great. may god bless each and every one of them. may god bless all who serve and wear the uniform. may god bless each and every
one of you and your families on this special anniversary in this very special place. thank you. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, we will now take part for the official breathe laying ceremony. please be seated as our official party and world war ii veterans get in position. we also hear from the united states navy ceremonial band. ♪
>> representing the united states army, the colonel chaplin gary r. tenuski and world war ii children clarence kai faulkner. mr. faulkner was a staff sergeant, company k, acting platoon sergeant, 10th mountain division 86 regiment from march 12, 1943 to december 9, 1945. >> mr. faulkner received many awards including the italian medal, the soldier's medal, he saved 20 soldiers by throwing a live grenade had fallen out of someone's backpack prior to going on patrol.
ladies and gentlemen, mr. kai faulkner. >> representing the united states marine corps, jack klemp, united states marine corps retired and now serves as president and c.e.o. of the national association of uniform services, former com aun daunt of the united states marine corps. p.x. kelly. accompanying p.x. kelly and
general klemp is mr. russell jenkins. mr. russell jenkins, a world war 2 vet and was 17 years old when he joined the navy during world war ii. he served at sea in the atlantic as well as on land and as a medic with the third wave of forces that hit omaha beach on d-day. >> representing the united states navy is rear admiral navy brian e. luther, director of operations and plans, chief of naval operations, rear the al luther was also irst commander of the u.s.s.
george bush ship that now is in the mediterranean. accompanying admiral luther is mr. walter l. wemtz. he enlisted in the navy in september of 1939 at norfolk, virginia. he was a torpedo man throughout the war. e received numerous medals and was married to the late mrs. wentz for 65 years. he had four children, all of which are here with him today, judy, luis, sheila and congressional. -- and donald. ladies and gentlemen, mr. walter l. wentz.
>> representing the united tates air force is colonel edge shock, united states air force retired and vice president u.s.o. he is accompanied by a world r ii veteran as a tuskegee airman. >> representing the united states coast guard is mr. gordon peterson, former marine officer, served during the vietnam era.
of service with the playing of their songs. medley, if forces you hear your song and served in the branch of service and are a veteran or presently serving, please stand when you hear your song being played to be recognized. the united states navy ceremonial band. >> united states army. ♪ [army medley prays] [ >> united states air force.
>> let's hear it for the united states navy ceremonial band. ladies and gentlemen, this concludes our ceremony for today. you're welcome to go over to the freedom wall and meet and greet the veterans and congratulate them and thank you for coming and have a wonderful day and god bless america. >> you're watching american history tv, all weekend, every weekend on c-span 3. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute] [captioning copyright national cable satellite corp.2014]
>> you're watching american history tv, all weekend, every weekend on c-span 3. >> this minnesota state capitol building is the third built in st. paul. the third one was built in downtown st. paul in the 1850's even when we were still a territory. over the years they expanded that space and by 1881, it was kind of a brick and wood building that probably no longer was serving the purpose of minnesota very well and in 1881, a fire burned it to the ground so there was a second capitol built on that same location and it was, once again, a functional space but not really meeting the needs of the expanding state government of minnesota and the ventilation wasn't very good. so even a few years after that had been built and occupied, there was discussion among the legislature to say we need to find a building that's permanent and that's going to accommodate the needs of the public as well as our growing