Virginia World War I and World War II Commemoration Commission
Tribute to Veterans
"Dawn of Infamy: America Goes to War"
University of Richmond: Robins Center, Richmond, Virginia
Thursday, December 8, 2016, 9:30 a.m. - Noon
"Yesterday, December 7, 1941— a date which will live in infamy— the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan..."
- President Franklin D. Roosevelt in an address to Congress on December 8, 1941, requesting a declaration of war against Japan MORE INFORMATION
A tribute to World War II veterans, Dawn of Infamy: America Goes to War marked the 75th anniversary of the United States' entry into World War II on December 8, 1941, following the previous day's attack on Pearl Harbor—an event that launched the nation into a worldwide conflict that had been raging for two years. In the years that followed more than 400,000 Americans, over 11,000 of whom were Virginians, gave their lives, while millions of others put their lives at risk.
Dawn of Infamy featured an Honor Parade of World War II veterans, remarks by dignitaries, and a keynote address from Pulitzer Prize winner and military historian Rick Atkinson, author of the New York Times best-selling Liberation Trilogy, a narrative history of America's role in the liberation of Europe during World War II. A special recognition ceremony was a key part of the program, during which each World War II Veteran in attendance received a commemorative medallion designed for the occasion.
Afternoon activities followed the program, involving the Commission's partner organizations and museums from across the state. Among them were the Voices of Freedom mobile recording studio set up by the Americans in Wartime Museum to record oral histories from veterans, and VCU's Virtual Curation Laboratory, who demonstrated 3D scanning and printing of artifacts and showcased the project's 3D printed World War I and World War II object replicas.
The event also marked the beginning of the Commission's Profiles of Honor Tour, which had its ribbon cutting and opened for visitors outside the Robins Center. Profiles of Honor will bring an an interactive exhibit to sites across Virginia, highlighting Virginia's role in World War I and World War II.
Thank you to all who joined us on December 8 as we remember our nation's history and honor the men and women who stood in harm's way to secure our freedom.