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Honor Flight San Diego’s 'Spirit of 45' celebration

About 200 World War II and Korean War veterans gathered at the Marina Village Conference Center in the Quivira Basin with their loved ones for the celebration.

SAN DIEGO — Honor Flight San Diego hosted their annual ‘Spirit of ’45 Celebration’ on Sunday to commemorate the 77th Anniversary of the moment when President Truman announced the official end to World War II on August 14, 1945. 

“This is one of the best days I think I’ve ever had in my life,” said Bill Ridenour, who was a combat infantryman in the Army. “We got the notice over the radio that said, ‘Now hear this, put down your weapons.  The war is being ended.’”  

Ridenour was quick to brag about his beautiful wife, Betty, because she exemplified the spirit of "Rosie the Riveter'’ during the war. 

“Because of the women going to work back in the 1940’s, we would not have won the war because all the men were being transferred and going into the military, and so the women came in and took the jobs over,” said Ridenour. 

Betty was humble about it, but CBS 8’s Brian White asked her how it felt to contribute to the war effort in that way. 

“I feel really good about it because I worked on some of the planes that went over and rescued some of our guys in the Philippines,” said Betty. 

About 200 World War II and Korean War veterans gathered at the Marina Village Conference Center in the Quivira Basin with their loved ones for the celebration and reunion. 

“This is my favorite day of the year,” said Holly Shaffner with Honor Flight San Diego. “I absolutely love this event and it’s so energizing for us that we still have this many World War II vets here in San Diego County and to do this every year for them is one of our greatest accomplishments every year.” 

Honor Flight San Diego will host their next honor flight to Washington, D.C. this fall when Vietnam veterans will be a part of the flight for the first time.

WATCH RELATED: 'Hero Homecoming' | Honor Flight 2022 returns to San Diego (May 2022).


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