American Battle Monuments Commission, Arnold Air Society and Silver Wings announce selectees for new fellowship program
ARLINGTON, Va. (February 24, 2023) —The American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) and the Arnold Air Society and Silver Wings (AAS/SW) are pleased to announce the selection of the first ever ABMC Fellows. The fellowship program was established in 2022 to provide participants the opportunity to contribute and bring awareness to the ABMC’s mission to maintain America’s military cemeteries and monuments throughout the world while telling the story of those who fought and fell, while also fostering leadership and management skills.
Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC) Cadets Lauren Bonetti from Detachment 930 at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wis., and John Burke from Detachment 730 at the University of Pittsburgh, Penn., will participate in the two-week program that will include ABMC mission orientation in Paris and travel to ABMC cemeteries in Europe for hands-on involvement with Memorial Day events and commemorations.
“We welcome Lauren and John, and look forward to further educating them about the extraordinary service and sacrifice commemorated at our sites,” said ABMC Secretary Charles K. Djou. “This is a great way for the next generation to develop a connection with and appreciation for the hundreds of thousands of service members whose legacies we carry forward.”
ABMC Commissioner and AAS/SW Executive Director, retired Air Force Brig. Gen. Dan Woodward, also welcomed the inaugural fellows, commenting, "As future Air Force officers, it is important we develop leaders who are not only driven and skilled, but who have a true sense of the profound sacrifice that preceded their own military careers," said Woodward. "We are grateful to ABMC for helping create this unique opportunity."
Following this fellowship, Cadets Bonetti and Burke will become ABMC Mission Ambassadors, helping connect peers and other college students to the agency’s objectives and century-long history.
This year, the ABMC celebrates 100 years of protecting the legacy of American service and sacrifice at 26 cemeteries and 32 monuments around the world. Likewise, for 76 years, AAS/SW has strengthened young military officers and civilians interested in national defense, through the lessons inherent in community service and unique professional development experiences.
For more information or if there are further questions, please contact:
Ashleigh Byrnes (U.S.)
Hélène Chaulin (France)
Cell: +33 (0)6 38 13 56 25
About American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC):
The American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) operates and maintains 26 cemeteries and 32 federal memorials, monuments, and commemorative plaques in 17 countries throughout the world, including the United States. The four memorials in the United States are: the World War I Memorial in Washington, D.C.; the Honolulu memorial located within the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu, Hawaii; the West Coast Memorial located within the Presidio National Park in San Francisco, Calif; and the East Coast Memorial located within Battery City Park in New York, N.Y. Since March 4, 1923, ABMC’s sacred mission remains to honor the service, achievements, and sacrifice of more than 200,000 U.S. service members buried and memorialized at our sites. For more information about ABMC, visit abmc.gov.