Cunard Cruise Lines pays tribute to the GREATEST GENERATION and Their WORLD WAR II Triumph


In the last, triumphant months of World War II, young Americans won their nation’s greatest victory or victories. For the war, they won was a world war, a conflict fought on two very different fronts in two very different ways. In Europe, the battle-tested troops who had landed in Normandy on D-Day fought their way onto Adolf Hitler’s doorstep, then crossed the Rhine and brought down the Nazis thousand-year Reich. Meanwhile, across the Pacific, sailors, Marines and airmen teamed up to invade a series of crucial islands Tarawa, Iwo Jima, Okinawa rolling back a tough Japanese enemy and paving the way for the surprising end of the war with the dropping of an atom bomb on Hiroshima.

Millions of men and women were involved in this tumultuous journey through adversity and achievement, despair and triumph. Certainly, there were those who failed to measure up, but taken this generation did have a "rendezvous with destiny" that went well beyond the outsized expectations of President Roosevelt when he first issued that call to duty in 1936. The stories that follow represent the lives of some of them. Each is distinctive and yet reflective of the common experiences of that trying time and this generation of greatness. Join us on this historic journey to pay homage to the Greatest Generation and Their World War II Triumph.


On the morning of Dec 7, Mickey Ganitch was preparing for a football game against the USS Arizona team. His team, from the USS Pennsylvania, was geared up and ready to play. When the attack hit, still wearing his pads and rearing to go Mickey made his way up to the crow’s nest, still wearing his pads and watching as the battle unfolded. 

speaker arthur staymates

On June 06, 1944, Staymates landed on Omaha beach in D-Day's first wave, German machine-gun fire hammered on the door of Staymates’ landing craft as it approached easy-red sector which puts Staymates on a prominent branch of history's tree, when it was like to supervise the unit that guarded the 21 highest-ranking Nazi officers involved in the Nuremberg Trials.


Dillard made his first combat jump on August 15, 1944, in the South of France when he was just 17. His unit fought throughout Southern France before moving up to join the fight in the Battle of the Bulge, where the conditions were so brutal and quarters so tight that at one point, Dillard said the famous words, "Lieutenant Durkee, who's buried over there, he yelled to fix bayonets and let's go."  


After survivor the attack on Pearl Harbor, Jack Holder went on to fly missions all over the Pacific theater. He flew 34 missions over the Solomon Islands and Guadalcanal, where he from 6,000ft witnessed Japanese Commanding General Yamamoto’s plane shot down. Holder also fought in a crucial victory at the Battle of Midway.


On the morning of December 7, 1941, out of nowhere, the attack began. Japanese fighters and torpedo bombers poured over the horizon, intent on the destruction of the U.S. Pacific fleet. With the West Virginia reeling from the blows it had received, Headley continued to fight in nearly 13 battles aboard the USS. San Francisco, including Bougainville, New Guinea and the Battle of Guadalcanal.

speaker joseph reilly 

In the late hours of June 5, 1944, Joseph Reilly and the 101st Airborne Division took off from Merryfield Airport, England at 22:45. All units flew across the English Channel and were set to drop into Normandy, five hours prior to the seaborne landing.  Reilly and the 501st drop zones were north and east of Carentan near Utah Beach.

"NO event in American HISTORY is more misunderstood than the Vietnam War. It was misreported then, and it is misremembered now."



The Vietnam War was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and South Vietnam, backed by the U.S., from November 1, 1955 until April 30, 1975. North Vietnam wanted to unite Vietnam under one Communist government, since it had previously been a French colony. The Anti-Communist government of South Vietnam resisted this and fought the North Vietnamese army with the help of the U.S. The U.S.'s involvement in this Cold War era conflict was part of the U.S.'s larger goal of "containment"—preventing the spread of Communism. The U.S.'s involvement in the Vietnam War is a highly controversial topic. Thousands of Americans were forced to fight and lost their lives. Some Americans believe it was the duty of the nation to defend other nations from the threat of Communism. Others believe it was not the U.S.'s place to get involved and that it was a costly mistake. Regardless of the numerous points of view, there is no arguing the significant place it holds in U.S. history or its impact on American society. It remains a very controversial topic that continues to affect political and military decisions today.


Now is the time for our CITIZENS to step up and acknowledge all that our Vietnam veterans have done for this country. We, as a nation, have, through the sacrifice of our veterans and military members, incurred a solemn obligation to support them in every way possible now and into the future. We remember those who were called upon to give all a person can give, and we remember those who were prepared to make that ultimate sacrifice if it were demanded of them in the line of duty. Most of all, we remember the devotion and gallantry with which all of them ennobled their nation as they became champions of a noble but forgotten war. We must embrace the heroes of Vietnam; their dedication and sacrifice must never be forgotten and the promises made to this nation’s heroes must be fully and faithfully honored.


The War Without Heroes Initiative vindicates the timeless principles of peace and justice in the world by raising awareness of the selfless courage all Vietnam war veterans exercised when they were called to duty, in hopes that future generations will recognize the contributions and sacrifices made by the allies of the United States during the Vietnam War and to never forget their sacrifices or those who were left behind.

Our momentous programs back to Veteran will be used:

  1. To provide veterans of Vietnam with the opportunity to revisit their past fields of battle, thereby gaining closure and putting to rest some of the memories they have wrestled with for decades;
  2. To provide the essential tools to help encourage and promote peace and reconciliation by connecting Allied soldiers with former NVA soldiers and local citizens through various educational initiatives developed by the Foundation;
  3. To educate youth and future generations about the meaning of duty, honor and sacrifice, as was defined and defended by these veteran’s many decades ago;
  4. To provide a platform for veterans to share their stories which will serve to accomplish goals 1, 2 and 3 that will help bridge the intergenerational gap throughout the world to honor and remember the 58,220 Americans that paid the ultimate sacrifice. 


The Greatest GENERATIONS Foundation wishes to acknowledge our proud partners GREAT CLIPS, THE WINNICK FOUNDATION, CROWN FAMILY PHILANTHROPIES for championing the our new initiative to honor Vietnam veterans. As a united ‘brand’, we also want to thank BRIGGS & RILEY, ADP, STARKART, HYATT CORPORATION and AMERICAN AIRLINES for their support of our new program supporting Vietnam War veterans. Together, we will pay tribute to those who sacrificed dearly for their country and for freedom. They should know that the gratitude we all share, should be bestowed upon them and their generation’s sacrifices, while also documenting their legacies so future generations may better know how their love of country changed the course of humanity.

"NO matter how long it will take us to OVERCOME this premeditated invasion, the AMERICAN people will through their righteous might will win to absolute VICTORY."


Japan's December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor and six other military bases on the Hawaiian island of Oahu that precipitated America's entry into World War II, a global conflict. Pearl Harbor endures as a symbol of American resilience and resolve, and the annual commemoration of the attack on Pearl Harbor fosters reflection, remembrance, and understanding.


The 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor is an opportunity to honor the sacrifice and dedication of our "Greatest Generation" both civilian and military, they endured incredible sacrifices on December 7, 1941, the "date which will live in infamy." It would thrust America into World War II, changing Hawaii and America forever and continues to define their place in the world. The events of that date triggered our resolve as a nation, our can-do attitude and resourcefulness and an unmatched commitment to the defense of freedom.


Understanding past events and their consequences can inspire reverence for an emotional commitment to peaceful solutions to conflict. How do we help future generations chart their way toward peace and prosperity? A key focus of the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor will be to bridge the gap between our generations to better understand and learn directly from those that endured December 07.


The Greatest GENERATIONS Foundation wishes to acknowledge GREAT CLIPS for championing the opportunity to support the return of 30 Pearl Harbor survivors back to the Hawaiian Islands to pay homage and recognize the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor. As a united ‘brand’, we also want to thank THE WINNICK FOUNDATION, HILTON HAWAIIAN HOTEL, MATSON, ADP, AMERICAN AIRLINES and FOX NETWORK for their ongoing support to the Foundation in recognizing the short window of time left with these American HEROES. Together, we will pay tribute to those who sacrificed dearly for their country and for freedom, should know that the gratitude we all share, should be bestowed upon them and their generation’s sacrifices, while also documenting their legacies so future generations may better know how their love of country changed the course of humanity.

"That road to V-E Day was hard and long, and traveled by weary and valiant men. And history will always record where that road began. It began here, with the first footprints on the beaches of Normandy.""