Celebrations took place across the world in honor of the 70th Anniversary of the end of WWII. Sam Graves holds up the May 9th edition of the Washington Post, featuring the Arsenal of Democracy Flyover, in which fifty two aircraft flew over the National Mall on May 8th, 2015 in honor of VE Day.

In conjunction with the Spirit of ’45, our Chief Pilot Warren Pietsch gave the following speech
at the Dakota Territory Air Museum surrounded by veterans, families, and friends.

Seventy years ago this nation and the rest of the free world emerged from one of the greatest struggles of mankind. When Japan surrendered on August 14, 1945 it marked the end of 8 years of war that encompassed the globe. That struggle represented the effects of societies letting down their guard and allowing tyrannical leaders to amass not only weapons of destruction but also support from their populace. For centuries, the dream of freedom has been the guiding light for building greatness and each conflict that the world endures is centered around someone trying to take someone else’s freedom away from them. Freedom isn’t safe or secure or comfortable, but it is the one thing that allows us to excel. Freedom is the most important thing. Freedom to believe, to do, to excel. You need not look far to see the people who have procured and protected our freedom, they are in the faces you see every day. But unfortunately mixed in with them are people who would allow freedom to vanish because of their short-term desires. The aircraft you see here today are not toys; they represent the efforts and sacrifices of an entire nation and its allies. Nations whose mothers and daughters left home to build for freedoms protection, a nation whose fathers and sons left home to fight for freedom, whose farmers farmed for freedom and on and on. We were all in to win a war that decided whether it would be a free world or not.


We are here today to thank the patriots of then and now, but more importantly we are here to ask the next set to continue to carry on with the spirit and tenacity it will take to maintain the very freedoms we take for granted today. Not all of us are soldiers, but all of us can be patriots and voters. So, educate yourself about the upcoming elections, its candidates, their views, values and how they will affect the future. Then vote; vote for the future of this country and vote for freedom.


I would like to end with a quote from Ronald Reagan: “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream, it must be fought for, protected and handed on for them to do the same.”


Warren Pietsch
Director of Operations and Chief Pilot, Texas Flying Legends Museum

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