When students study World War II in school, they learn about the famous generals, battlefields and memorize a lot of dates.
"While that is important, you also, in that kind of instruction, lose the sense that these were all individuals," said Glen Kyle, managing director of the Northeast Georgia History Center. "We’re talking about our grandfathers, our great-grandfathers that, quite frankly, saved the world several times over."
From 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, the history center will hold a "Salute to World War II Veterans," honoring the veterans and their families.
A small reception and refreshments will be offered to all who attend, and segments of Ken Burns’ documentary "The War" will play in the center’s sports hall of fame.
Over the past couple of months, the history center has held special events to honor veterans from different wars.
Vietnam War veterans were honored in September, and October paid tribute to Korean War veterans.
The history center will also honor veterans on Veterans Day, which is Nov. 11.
"It’s a very small way of not only showing our appreciation for the sacrifices those who have served in the armed forces have made, but also hopefully a way to get the idea of that appreciation out to the public," Kyle said.
He said he hopes the events increase awareness of the sacrifices veterans made.
During both receptions, the center’s American Freedom Garden will be open to the public. The garden pays tribute to all war vets, living and deceased.
The most recent set of names, more than 100, has just been engraved on the pillars around the garden. Kyle said there are more than 600 names now.
He said that is just a "sampling," however, of the number of men and women who have served their country in some way.
In World War II alone, Kyle said, there were nearly 12 million men and women in uniform.