We were delighted to have the opportunity last week to participate in the 8th in the East festival weekend. This was a three-day event that provided free activities for families, numerous talks, film screenings and educational opportunities for people to learn more about the role of the 8th USAAF in the East of England.
Our 2nd Air Division Memorial Library stand was all set up, complete with a laptop that provided access to our newly launched Digital Archive.
There were lots of other interesting and informative booths set up in the lobby. It was a great opportunity to be able to network and meet other local organizations involved with history and community engagement as related to WWII Britain.
I had the opportunity to attend the opening talk given by Dr. Sam Edwards from Manchester Metropolitan University. It was a fascinating overview on the various ways we remember and commemorate the 8th USAAF in the East of England.
My favorite panel in the lobby was this one, about the various animals, pets and mascots adopted by U.S. air men during the war. Can you find the black bear, monkey, and donkey?
The lobby displays shared information about various topics related to the war, such as the role of women, racial relations, and England’s long history of welcoming refugees fleeing war-zone areas.
It was also fun spotting the Memorial Library, listed as an example of a unique living memorial.
All in all it was a highly fun experience and we were honored to participate. You can read more about the festival and the organization overall at the Eighth in the East’s website.