The following announcement was written by Ancestry:
To help Americans commemorate Memorial Day from home this year, Ancestry®, the leader in family history, announced today it will host the “Parade of Heroes,” a virtual event which will stream online Monday, May 25 at 11 AM EST (8 AM PST) on Ancestry’s Facebook Page via Watch Party. Emmy Award-winning television personality Kathie Lee Gifford will host the show, with a special guest performance by two-time GRAMMY Award-winning singer-songwriter Tori Kelly.
This Memorial Day virtual parade, which also helps commemorate the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II, will bring to life stories of strength and hope through exclusive veteran interviews and special tributes. HISTORY®, Wounded Warrior Project, The Greatest GENERATIONS Foundation, Heroes of the Second World War and TAPS all teamed up with Ancestry to produce the joint tribute to those who sacrificed their lives to secure our freedom.
“There’s never been a more important time to honor our ancestors’ stories of triumph and to preserve the memory of WWII, one of the most significant events in world history,” said Margo Georgiadis, President and CEO of Ancestry. “When we take time to learn about our ancestors, we give power to their stories and pay tribute to their service. We also can unlock inspiration to become stronger and more resilient ourselves. This Memorial Day, Ancestry is making it easier for people to discover their personal connections to the war, and commemorate those who served and sacrificed.”
In a compelling 45-minute production streamed on Ancestry’s Facebook Page via Watch Party and later housed on www.Ancestry.com, the “Parade of Heroes” will highlight stories that honor those lost, through interviews with veterans of all ages and the lost veterans’ families, including a special feature dedication to World War II given this year’s special 75th anniversary. The program will also feature traditional American hymns by The Lincoln Way Marching Band from New Lenox, Illinois, celebrity cameo appearances and an inspiring educational platform of American history through the words and content of national veteran organizations and nonprofits.
“We couldn’t be more honored to partner with Ancestry to bring to life stories of remembrance this Memorial Day,” said Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Mike Linnington, Wounded Warrior Project CEO. “Too many of the warriors we serve have personally experienced loss on and off the battlefield. Along with them, we humbly pay our respects to those heroes that made the ultimate sacrifice.”
“HISTORY is proud to join with Ancestry to honor the memory of those who have served us so well,” said Dr. Kimberly Gilmore, Lead Historian and Senior VP Corporate Outreach, A+E Networks. “During challenging times, we can all be inspired by remembering that every person who has served our nation has a powerful story that can shed light on the history we share and the future we will build together.”
Following the program, Ancestry invites everyone to participate in the “Parade of Heroes” by sharing a picture or video on Instagram to commemorate who they are remembering this Memorial Day, using the hashtag #RememberAtHome. Viewers are also encouraged to submit photos discovered using Ancestry’s free access to military records, in memory of loved ones lost.
With the largest collection of U.S. military records for family history research, Ancestry is providing new ways for people to connect to the history of World War II by finding the veterans in their family tree who served our nation, and those who lived through this remarkable chapter in history. Ancestry is opening free access to:
- More than 550 million military records on Fold3®, covering military conflicts as early as the Revolutionary War, open May 21-25
- Nearly 500 million records and images from the National Archives and Records Administration available on Ancestry, including all 36 million of the nation’s available World War II young man’s draft cards, open now through June 1
Ancestry®, the global leader in family history and consumer genomics, empowers journeys of personal discovery to enrich lives. With our unparalleled collection of 24 billion records and over 16 million people in our growing DNA network, customers can discover their family story and gain actionable insights about their health and wellness. For over 30 years, we’ve built trusted relationships with millions of people who have chosen us as the platform for discovering, preserving and sharing the most important information about themselves and their families.