Sixty-five years ago today, Japanese officials and representatives of the Allied powers signed Japan’s instrument of surrender, formally bringing an end to World War II. And this Saturday the veterans of that war will be honored with a day of living history called Remembering Our Heroes in Catoosa County.
George Patton Waters, grandson of Gen. George S. Patton, will speak Saturday night at a dinner at the Colonnade as part of the event.
“I’m a big believer in thanking all those who have served, not just the World War II veterans, but those who served in Korea and Vietnam and those who are serving today,” Waters said in a telephone interview. “They have all been willing to put their lives on the line for this country and for freedom.”
Waters said he believes his grandfather, who died of injuries sustained in an automobile accident just a few months after the war ended, would appreciate events such as those being held this weekend.
“I think he would want to thank all of those soldiers past and present who have fought to defend this country and give us these freedoms,” he said.
Waters said his grandfather always said his success in battle was due to the quality of men who served under him.
“I think he would give the credit to all of those soldiers who served under him and say they were the ones, under his leadership, who fought the enemy and won the battles. When they left (for the war), they weren’t given a return date. When I was in the Navy, when I left I was told I’d be back in six months. They were told you’ll be back when you win the war,” Waters said.
“And it wasn’t just the soldiers on the battlefield. The wives and girlfriends and children and families back home also made their sacrifices and did their part. Fighting World War II involved all of America,” he added.
Remembering Our Heroes starts at 10 a.m. at the Barnhardt Circle polo field in Fort Oglethorpe. It will feature World War II battle re-enactments, complete with authentic vehicles and weapons. It will also have historical displays from the Revolutionary War to the Vietnam War.
The event is sponsored by the nearby Sixth Cavalry Museum. The Sixth Cavalry served under Patton as part of the Third Army during World War II and was stationed for almost 20 years at the Army base in Fort Oglethorpe.
Remembering Our Heroes takes place Saturday. The opening ceremony starts at 10 a.m. at the Barnhardt Circle polo field in Fort Oglethorpe. World War II battle re-enactments will be held at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m., and a patriotic concert by the Scenic City Chorus is at 1 p.m. Admission is $5 per person (children under 5 will be admitted free). There will be a dinner, auction and speech by George Patton Waters, the grandson of Gen. George S. Patton, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Colonnade Center in Ringgold. Tickets for the dinner are $25. For more information go to www.wwiiheroes.net or call (706) 861-2860.