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Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage
National WWII Reunion

Family Activities

Hands-on activities relating to the World War II period were available for children of all ages. Audience members had the opportunity to crack coded messages (based on a cryptographic key), write brief V-Mail letters, distinguish between U.S. and German/Japanese aircraft (based on silhouettes), and learn how to Jitterbug and Lindy Hop. Speakers on stage shared experiences relevant to members of the younger generation.

List of Participants:

Tom Goehner
(Family Activities, May 27 and 28)
He has been the Director of Education for the American Red Cross Museum since 2000, and is in charge of its educational programming and outreach. Previously, he spent more than six years coordinating public programs and developing educational materials for the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
P.X. Kelley
(Family Activities, May 27)
He served as the 28th Commandant of the Marine Corps and as a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff from 1983 until his retirement from the Marine Corps in 1987. During his 37-year military career, General Kelley commanded Marine Corps organizations at every echelon, including an infantry battalion and infantry regiment during his two separate tours in Vietnam. He currently serves as chairman of the American Battle Monuments Commission.
Tom Koerner and Debra Sternberg
(Family Activities, May 27, 28, 30)
They have been dancing jitterbug and Lindy Hop since their original partnering in 1987. They began teaching regular weekly swing dance classes in 1994, and currently teach six classes five nights a week to more than 500 students. The dance partners have won numerous competitions for Lindy Hop and jitterbug.
Adam Makos
(Family Activities, May 27, 28, 30)
Makos was motivated by his grandfathers' stories of World War II service, and decided at an early age to serve American veterans by preserving their history. The result was the Ghost Wings Newsletter, which he created in 1994 while in the eighth grade. The magazine's mission has remained constant: to present and preserve the accounts of veterans who have served in peacetime and in war, from World War II to the present.
Ruthanna Maxwell Weber
(Family Activities, May 27, 28, 30)
Weber joined the Navy WAVES in 1942 and served as an instructor in cryptography at the Naval Reserve Midshipmen's School in Northampton, Massachusetts. Over the years, she has received numerous awards and recognitions for her outstanding volunteer service.
Susan White
(Family Activities, May 30)
She has been knitting since she was six. She was vice-president of Knitting Artists of Northern Virginia and is involved in several projects with Capital Crocheters and Knitters, Inc.
The Young Marines
(Family Activities, May 28, 29, 30)
They are a nationwide organization that provides youth-development programs for boys and girls, helping to promote responsible citizenship and healthy lifestyles.

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