August 13-16, 2015: Home Front Victory Celebration

WHEREAS, in 1940, with World War II looming, many of Michigan’s most notable business leaders put aside their rivalries and answered the call of the Nation to design, plan and procure the armaments to defend freedom and liberate oppressed nations under Axis and Imperial occupation; and,

WHEREAS, Michigan based giants Ford, General Motors and Chrysler accepted the challenge and took the lead to apply new production methods based on automotive-styled assembly lines for mass producing complex land, sea and air weapons; and,

WHEREAS, early in 1941 the land was acquired and on April 18th construction was begun on the Willow Run Bomber Plant that would have an assembly line with a total length of one mile and cover 3.5 million square feet; and,

WHEREAS, less than five –and-a-half months later , on September 1, the first production machinery began to arrive and the first aircraft parts were produced at Willow Run on December 8th, the day after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor; and,

WHEREAS, thousands of people migrated to Willow Run to work in this factory and women played a key role in the manufacturing process; and,

WHEREAS, Willow Run was the largest factory in the world and came to symbolize America’s industrial might; and,

WHEREAS, Michigan manufacturers shifted from peacetime to wartime output and earned Michigan the title of Arsenal of Democracy in recognition of their unparalleled production levels; and,

WHEREAS, 613,543 Michiganders served in the armed services. Of those who served, 10,263 made the ultimate sacrifice and 29,321 were wounded; and,

WHEREAS, all throughout Michigan, people of all ages sacrificed much human comfort, enduring shortages of food, clothing and fuel by rationing to support a massive Home Front campaign; and,

WHEREAS, even children participated by gathering aluminum scraps, milkweed and other materials needed to supply the factories; and,

WHEREAS, World War II was one of the most pivotal times in modern world history where life was interrupted and freedom was threatened; and,

WHEREAS, hometown heroes such as Rose Will Monroe, the inspiration for Rosie the Riveter, arose during this trying time, making this generation of Americans one of the bravest this nation has ever seen; and,

WHEREAS, the Spirit of Determination prevailed leading to the surrender of the enemy in Europe on May 8, 1945, forever becoming Victory in Europe Day, and the enemy in the Pacific Theater surrendered on August 14-15, 1945, forever being recognized as VJ Day on September 2, 1945;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Rick Snyder, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim August 13-16, 2015 as Michigan’s Home Front Victory Celebration.