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WWII Museum Challenges the Country to Give a Million Thanks

Originally published on HistoryNet.com. Published Online: October 25, 2011 
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National WWII Museum Launches Campaign of Gratitude for Military Veterans of All Eras

NEW ORLEANS – Many agree that the most valuable gift Americans possess is their freedom. In the spirit of acknowledging that, and in recognition of Veterans Day, The National WWII Museum is asking citizens to thank the brave men and women in uniform who protected it. A new campaign entitled "Thank You For My Freedom," that harnesses the power of social media to send thanks to veterans of all ages, is launching today.

The campaign, which culminates on Veterans Day, November 11, aims to send one million Americans to a specially created website — myveteransday.org — where they can watch a heartwarming video and offer their personal thanks and best wishes to veterans by posting a personal photo, video or written message. The final tally and a video compendium of the most moving expressions of gratitude will be revealed at the Museum's Celebration of Heroes event taking place November 11 on the institution's six-acre campus in New Orleans.

"We hope this grassroots effort will move the nation to take action," said National WWII Museum President and CEO Dr. Gordon H. "Nick" Mueller. "Veterans paid the price for our precious freedoms. Today, Americans can come to our website and easily thank a military veteran in their own unique way.

The centerpiece of the campaign is a heartfelt, two-and-a-half-minute video featuring Americans of all ages conveying the simple, yet moving, message of "thank you." Conceived by the Museum's Director of Interactive Services Jonah Langenbeck, the campaign harnesses the power of social media. People can post videos on the Museum's YouTube channel or Facebook videos and photos captured on their cell phones.

One of our most important missions is to ensure that the values of the Greatest Generation are passed on to succeeding ones," Mueller said about the Museum's special effort to reach out to younger veterans. "This campaign of gratitude is not only for those veterans from the Greatest Generation, but for all veterans who have served our country. Returning veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan aren't being welcomed by crowds or with celebrations. This online effort is our way to thank them collectively, as a nation.

"We think of it as digital ticker-tape parade," Langenbeck says. "It's how we can express our gratitude for all these heroes in a 21st Century way."

He encourages people to tell their family, friends and coworkers to visit myveteransday.org, post their thanks and share what others have done. The video itself can be embedded on users' web pages with a few easy clicks. Or, if visitors prefer, they can visit the Museum's Facebook page directly and upload videos and photos. A pre-designed "Thank You" placard can be printed out directly from the site and incorporated in personal messages. Boeing is also supporting the Museum's Veterans Day initiative as a National Promotional Partner.

Originally commemorated as Armistice Day, a day to honor all veterans of WWII, Veterans Day was signed into law on June 1, 1954. Traditionally Veterans Day is observed with a wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery and community events across the nation. Veterans Day officially honors living veterans of wartime and peacetime, but is often confused with Memorial Day, which exists to honor those who died serving our country.

The National WWII Museum tells the story of the American Experience in the war that changed the world – why it was fought, how it was won, and what it means today.  Dedicated in 2000 as The National D-Day Museum and now designated by Congress as America's National WWII Museum, it celebrates the American Spirit, teamwork, optimism, courage and sacrifice of the men and women who served on the battlefront and the Home Front. For more information, call 877-813-3329 or 504-527-6012 or visit www.nationalww2museum.org . Follow us on Twitter at WWIImuseum  or visit our Facebook http://www.facebook.com/WWIIMuseum page.


27 Responses to “WWII Museum Challenges the Country to Give a Million Thanks”


  1. 1
    Jack McCann says:

    Dear Veterans,
    All americans are very thankful to you. You protect us everyday and put your life on the line to protect our country. Thank you for our freedom and everything you do for us. What you do everyday 24/7 is very scary and frightening and you are the most brave people I know. I wish one day I can be as brave as you and protect our country. Thank you for all you've done, there is nobody who is much of a great person than all of you, you guys are amazing, keep up the amazing work!

  2. 2
    Santosh Krishnan says:

    Dear Veterans,
    Thank you for our country's freedom. You fight so hard to have us live here today. We are very lucky to have people like you to fight for our country and the freedoms we enjoy. I hope you are able to come home soon so that you can see your families.

    I will be thinking of you on Veteran's Day.

  3. 3
    Amy Walker says:

    Dear Veterans,
    Thank you so much for protecting us and giving our country our freedom. You risk your lives for us everyday. You are the bravest people I know and I appreciate everything you do for us!

  4. 4
    Laurel De Luca says:

    Dear Veterans,
    Than You for being so brave and giving our county the freedom we have. We are so lucky to have people like you. Everyday we hope that you are safe. Than you for everything you do.

  5. 5
    Tatyanna Concannon says:

    Dear Veterans,
    Thank you for serving our country and giving us freedom we have. You go out there risk your lives even though you would probably want to be with your families. You do so much for us and we really appreciate it all. Thank you for everything you have done to keep us safe.

  6. 6
    Luke O'Neil says:

    Dear Veterans,
    Thank you for risking your life for the good of the country. Without you, our country would not be the same. It must be very hard to leave your families but I am extremely great full for your actions to make our everyday life simple and enjoyable. I hope you will be back soon to visit your families.

  7. 7

    [...] articles on Thank You For My Freedom by the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Weider History Group and [...]

  8. 8
    Russell Luther says:

    Dear Veterans,
    Thank you for risking your life for the good of the country. It must be very hard to leave your families but I am extremely great full for your actions to make our everyday life simple and enjoyable. I hope you will be back soon to visit your families.

  9. 9
    Catherine Finnegan says:

    Dear Veterans,
    I can't thank you enough for what you have done for us all. You have protected us, kept our families safe from harm, stood up for us, and put your lives in danger fighting for us. We would not be standing here today without you, and I thank you. Thank you for my freedom.

  10. 10
    Bobby Trifone says:

    Dear Veterans,
    Thank you so much for protecting our country and serving for us… I am very thankful to be so safe and not have to worry about anything bad happening to me. I very much appreciate the risk you take for us as a country and I honor each and every veteran who was fought or served our country in any way. Thank you

  11. 11
    Leonard Murao says:

    Dear Veterans,
    Thank you so much for sacrificing your lives for us to live peacefully. I want to thank you and give you credit for our protection and the country's protection. I appreciate your bravery and your sacrifice. Thank you for keeping us safe.

  12. 12
    Finnula Mageras says:

    Dear Veterans,
    Thank you so much for fighting for our freedom. You have protected us and given us our freedom. I really honor all the things you have done for us. Thank you!

  13. 13
    Connor Wind says:

    There are no words to express to great things you veterans have done, and I thank all who have served those who are serving and those who will serve for everything we have today and the country as it is

  14. 14
    James Crafford says:

    Dear Vets,
    Me, my family, and our country would not be as great as it is without you. You are all true heroes to me. I wish I could personally thank each and everyone of you. All of my generations from my dads side, dating back to before the civil war have fought in the Military. One again thank you so much for your service, god bless you

    Love,
    James Crafford

  15. 15
    Christian Duvick says:

    Dear Veterans,
    Thank you SO much for all that you guys have done. We ALL REALLY appreciate it and are VERY thankful for what you all are doing to help us here in America. Without you guys, we would not be one of the greatest countries in the world!! We all love you and care for you and hope you come home soon, with a victory of course!! We miss you!!
    Love,
    Christian Duvick

  16. 16
    Seth Canaday says:

    Dear Veterans,
    I am so glad that our country has you and I am so thankful of your hard work and many wounds to protect the United States of America and its citizens. I would like to inform you that EVERYONE is VERY thankful for what you do whether they show it or not and we sometimes take you for granted but either way we care for you and you are the sole reason that we are in the strongest nation in the world
    Sincerely,
    Seth Canaday

  17. 17
    Connor Mulliken says:

    Dear veterans,
    We as a country thank you for fighting the battles that defined us as a nation for us. Many people have risked their life to protect our country and Veterans Day is where we can come together and honor those who have fought for us.

  18. 18
    Erika Dodge says:

    Dear Veterans,
    I want to sincerely thank you for risking your lives to protect us. I want to thank you for our freedom. Our freedom of religion and our freedom of speech. America would not be as great as it is today without you. You are the whole reason why we are the super power we are today. Why we are so independent and free.
    Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
    Thank you,
    Erika Dodge

  19. 19
    Alex Berardinioi says:

    Dear Vets,
    I want to thank you so much for the sacrifices you have given up to keep our country great. Americans have you to thank for our freedom and rights. We all care about you so much and want you to know that we appreciate from the bottem of our hearts what you do every day. You are all heroes.

    Sincerely,
    Alex Berardino

  20. 20
    Maddie Keilitz says:

    Dear Veterans,
    I can not thank you enough for what you do for us. You are all so brave and so kind. it really shows how much you care for our country and keeping us safe. We are so thankful to have all of you and to know how safe you keep us. You mean so much to our country and we are so proud to have people like you fighting for us every day. Thank you so much.

  21. 21
    Isabelle Taylor says:

    Dear Veterans,
    Thank you so much for protecting our country and for risking your lives everyday to protect us. All of you are so brave to do what you do. Their hasn't been a day when I don't feel safe, and that's because I know you are all doing your job amazingly! Bless you and your families. Thank you so much!

    Love, Isabelle

  22. 22
    Eleanor Kelley says:

    Dear Veterans,
    Thank you so so so much for what you have done and been doing to keep us safe. Without you, I don`t know where I would be right now. I hope that you make it home safe and are able to see your families soon.
    Love, ELeanor

  23. 23
    Christian Trifone says:

    Dear Veterans,
    I want to thank all of you for your pride and passion fighting for our country. Your endless effort to protect our country and put all of us as your first priority has been incredible. I also want to say thanks to my uncle who died a couple years ago. He fought for 20 years in the Marines. He fought in the Persian Gulf on a ship named the U.S.S Peleliu, trying to endure freedom. He was in charge of logistics. John was a very loyal and kind man, and we all miss him deeply. Thank you to all of our soldiers who spend countless hours and days making sure our country is safe.
    I miss you Johnny, see you soon, Christian

  24. 24
    Monet Takeda says:

    Dear Veterans,
    Thank you for fighting for and protecting our country. You kept our homes safe and secure during times of peril. Thank you for your generousity.
    Love, Monet T.

  25. 25
    Jack Young says:

    Veterans,
    I cannot begin to express how thankful I am to live in America. Because of people like you life here is among the best in the world. I cannot imagine the pain most of you have gone through to keep it this way, that is why I would like to say thank you times a million!
    Love you guys,
    Jack Young

  26. 26
    Owen Hildreth says:

    Dear Veterans,
    Thanks you so much for protecting our country. You provided us with freedom. You keep us safe at night. I hope you know so many people look up to you and are heros to them. Most people don't understand what you have been through. So I would like to thank you for this. I know it has been rough but you have mad it through. Many thanks to you from everyone in this country but me especially.

    Owen Hildreth

  27. 27
    Mary Whatley says:

    God Bless You and God Bless America.
    Thank you for your service.



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