Indiana Spirit of '45

Martinsville, Indiana

June, 2015

Keep the Spirit of '45 Alive!

We are keeping the Spirit of '45 Alive in Martinsville, Indiana by honoring our WWII, Greatest Generation and ALL who serve this nation, past, present and future.

Our organization is non-profit and relies solely on donations. Please consider a gift to help us to honor and thank those who served our nation! Donating is fast and easy - just click here!

*Indiana Spirit of ‘45 is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Your contribution is tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

Our Web site is up and running! Please stop by and browse the photo gallery, watch a video of past ceremonies, and drop a few coins in the bucket!

Director's Message

Bruce McKee, Director

Greetings!! I am Bruce McKee, Director of Indiana Spirit of ’45 and a Veteran of the US Air Force. Our family has a history of serving this nation as far back as the Revolutionary war, which has instilled a sense of pride and love for fellow Veterans and those who serve. I wish to give you this brief history on how our organization came into being. We had a very humble beginning on Aug, 14, 2009 with six buglers of Bugles Across America lining the White River Parkway in Indianapolis to sound Taps at 7 pm to commemorate the end of WWII. Sadly, there were more buglers than attendees. In 2010, Congress unanimously voted in favor of a National Spirit of ’45 Day to be held every second Sunday in August to celebrate our Greatest Generation and their accomplishments to coincide with the day WW2 ended.

Unable to gain support in Indianapolis, we decided that KEEP THE SPIRIT OF ’45 ALIVE!! should be held in our city of Martinsville, where it has been held every year since. We have the full support of our community, county, and veterans' organizations that make our program bigger and better every year as we celebrate, honor and remember the 16 million who served; 400,399 who gave their lives; and the 73,000 still missing in action. Most people picture those who came home having huge parades and parties, but that didn’t happen for most of them. Most of them took a year to two years to come home and continue their lives. That is the reason we are here - to give them the Thank You and Welcome Home they deserved 70 years ago.

We also want make sure everyone knows that this is not an event for just for WWII Veterans. It is a celebration of every warrior and veteran that has served with the same dedication, honor, and unity that was displayed by our Greatest Generation. It is our sincere hope that everyone who comes to this event has a great time of music, military displays, and enjoys our program…but it is also our hope that children attending the event learn the true meaning of Duty, Honor, Country, Courage, Sacrifice and Humility.

We Truly hope you will join us for our KEEP THE SPIRIT OF ’45 Alive event on August 16, 2015 and help us in thanking our WWII Veterans in attendance. Sadly, there are only about 1.2 million of these heroes left and they are passing at an average rate of one every ninety seconds. Come and let them know how much we appreciate their service and sacrifice, while we still have that opportunity.

Join us as we KEEP THE SPIRIT OF ’45 ALIVE.

Meet the Board of Directors

Bruce McKee, Director

Bruce is an Air Force veteran, after being honorably discharged as SSgt. in 1988. His family has served continuously, beginning with his 4th great-grandfather in the American Revolution. Bruce has been a bugler with Bugles Across America since 2007 and is a member of and bugler for the American Legion Post #230 in Martinsville, Indiana. Bruce is a member of the Martinsville Community Band. He founded Keep the Spirit of '45 Alive in Indiana in 2010.

Jerry Vest, Assistant Director

Jerry is long time resident of Morgan County. He served 22 years in the US Air Force Reserve and retired a Master Sergeant in 2008. His family history has military members dating all the way back to the Revolutionary War. Jerry currently serves as a board member of Indy Honor Flight and has been on 8 flights as a guardian or Captain.

Zondra Kale-Griffin, Treasurer

Zondra resides in Martinsville and works for Mid-America Radio. She is a founding member of and currently serves as president of the Martinsville Community Band. Zondra is also a bugler for Bugles Across America.

Jim Martin, Chaplain

Jim was born in Illinois and relocated to Indiana at a very young age. He spent six years in the US Air Force at Shaw AFB in Sumter, SC and Ramstein Air Base in Germany. He currently serves as president of the Martinsville Sportsman's Conservation Club and as honor guard bugler for the American Legion and Bugles Across America. Jim is a member of the Martinsville Community Band; and is active in Highland Creek Baptist Church where he is an instrumentalist, educator, and Musical Director. Jim resides in Martinsville and is a 30-year United States Postal Service employee.

Stephanie Resler, Secretary

Stephanie was raised and currently resides in Martinsville. Her family tree holds patriots who fought in every war all the way back to the Revolution. She serves as Regent of the Ten O'clock Line Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR); Project Patriot State Chairman for Indiana DAR; is a Daughter of the Union; a Camp Atterbury USO volunteer; and a member of the Martinsville Community Band.

Martinsville Farmers' Market

Come see us at the Martinsville Farmers' Market this summer! Stop by to check out the amazing WWII photos and memorabilia! You may even leave with some delicious baked goods and an awesome Indiana Spirit of '45 t-shirt!

Like us on Facebook to keep up with all the news!

Interested in helping? Contact us and we'll put YOUR talents to good use in honoring our veterans!

Keep the Spirit of '45 Alive Celebration

Sunday, Aug. 16th, 3-7pm

Courthouse Square, Martinsville, IN

Join us for music, dancers, food and some of our county and state's heroes from the Greatest Generation!

Music begins at 3:00; ceremony at 6:00pm

Contact Us!

Indiana Spirit of '45

540 E Highland St

Martinsville, IN 46151