Visit a WASP gravesite to honor their brave service
Women in Aviation International (WAI) members and friends will honor the Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) by visiting their graves and leaving an appropriate decoration in the form of flowers or other remembrances. In its fifth year, the #HonorTheWASP program was originally envisioned to take place over the Memorial Day weekend each year. In an effort to allow participants to observe best social-distancing practices, WAI offers that large groups can be easily avoided by visiting gravesites over the entire month of May as opposed to just on Monday, May 30th, Memorial Day.
“WAI members around the world are grateful for the service and sacrifice of the formidable group of WASP who served so honorably during World War II. This group of impressive women were brave and dedicated, and it is our honor, as an organization, to pay tribute to their bravery and dedication. These incredible women who risked their lives to do their part for the war effort, led the way for so many of us,” says WAI CEO Allison McKay.
You don’t have to be a WAI member to #HonorTheWASP. A database of WASP gravesites, including Google maps to their locations, may be found HERE [https://www.wai-crc.com/honor-the-wasp]. The original database was provided by Texas Woman’s University (TWU), the home of the Women Airforce Service Pilots archives, and is regularly augmented through research efforts of WAI staff. WAI also provides a commemorative tag that may be printed out and used by all (https://www.wai.org/sites/default/files/assets/News/news_wasp-button.png).
In each of the previous four years, #HonorTheWASP participants have visited and decorated nearly 100 WASP gravesites annually. WAI and TWU continue to improve the database and add WASP burial sites regularly.
Participants are asked to tweet a photograph of their visit and include who they visited and where they are located using the hashtag #HonorTheWASP. WAI will retweet all posts to its nearly 22,000 Twitter followers and other social media outlets.
About the WASP: The Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) were inducted into WAI’s International Pioneer Hall of Fame in 1993. The WASP flew for the U.S. Army Airforce from September 1942 to December 1944. Some 1,102 women wore the silver wings flying over 70 million miles and delivering 12,650 airplanes across the country during their time of operation.