Friends of the National World War II Memorial

Monthly Virtual Education Conference Series

October 2020 – April 2021
10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET
Next Conference: Saturday, March 20

Friends of the National World War II Memorial presents a Monthly Virtual Education Conference Series focused on teaching the lessons of yesterday to unite the generations of tomorrow.

Please join Friends of the National World War II Memorial monthly, from October to April, to learn more about the spirit of unity and shared purpose that defined the character of our country during World War II.  

Friends’ new conference series will feature monthly one-day virtual conferences beginning on Saturday, October 24, 2020 and will continue on the third Saturday of each month after, through April 17, 2021, from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. ET.

Register today for free to join this unique digital experience brought to you by educators, World War II veterans, and published authors.

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Saturday, February 20

The Asia-Pacific War and the Japanese-American experience.

10:00AM to 10:50AM (ET)
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Douglas MacArthur As Military Leader

Christopher Kolakowski

Christopher L. Kolakowski is Director of the Wisconsin Veterans Museum, and past Director of the MacArthur Memorial. He is the author of numerous publications on the Civil War and World War II in the Asia-Pacific.

General Douglas MacArthur was one of the key figures throughout the Pacific War. His leadership style will be assessed by looking at his performance in the Philippines and in New Guinea.

11:00AM to 11:50AM (ET)
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Pacific Oceans 11 - Stories from a WWII Veteran

Liesl Bradner and John Knight

Liesl Bradner is an award–winning journalist based in Los Angeles.   Born in Philadelphia, she grew up in Pittsburgh, and studied at Florida State and Cambridge UK.

John Knight was born in California on September 25, 1924 and served in the US Navy as a Radioman with the Armed Guard, rising to the rank of Petty Officer Second Class. The US Navy Armed Guard was a unit that stationed communications and gunners on US Merchant Ships.

John & Liesl will discuss John's fascinating stories from before, during, and after WWII, where he served on four ships, eleven islands, crossed the Pacific seven times, and was in Tokyo Bay on VJ-Day.

12:00PM to 1:15PM (ET)
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Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz

Rear Admiral John Bitoff, USN Retired

Rear Admiral John Bitoff served in a myriad of ships and commanded destroyers and the Combat Logistics ships in the Pacific Fleet. His major shore assignments included Executive Assistant to the Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff and Director of Plans and Policy, US European Command where he was responsible for implementation of the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty with the Soviet Union. While serving as Commander, Combat Logistics Group ONE and Commander, Naval Base San Francisco, he oversaw the "Women at Sea Program," which integrated women aboard U.S. Third Fleet logistics ships. When the Loma Prieta Earthquake struck California, Admiral Bitoff led the Navy’s rescue and relief operations. Golden Gate University conferred upon him the honorary Doctor of Laws Degree for his “embodiment of the ideal of soldier statesman." He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Friends of the National World War II Memorial.

Rear Admiral Bitoff will discuss of the amazing life of Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, his leadership during World War II, and his legacy in the US Navy.


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The Friends of the National World War II Memorial’s education programs are generously supported by the
Jack C. Taylor / Enterprise Rent-A-Car WWII Memorial Education Endowment.

With additional support from the U.S. Department of Defense.