Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America

JWV to Hold Ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery to Commemorate the Centennial of British Zion

Winter 2003

Washington, DC -- The Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America and JWV Post 58 will be holding a memorial service on Sunday, April 27, 2003, 2 p.m., at Arlington National Cemetery to commemorate the centennial of the birth of British Major General Orde Charles Wingate, a fervent Zionist and a famed World War II military leader. Orde Wingate was an ardent Christian Zionist and a seminal figure in modern non-conventional military warfare. Prior to the outbreak of the Second World War, Wingate helped to organize the precursor to the Israel Defense Forces while serving as an officer in Palestine in the late 1930's. Israeli leaders such as Moshe Dayan and Yigal Allon have credited Wingate with being the spiritual father of the IDF. In 1940 and 1941, Wingate led the British-Ethiopian Gideon Force that helped to liberate Ethiopia from the far larger Italian Fascist occupation army in one of the few bright moments for the democracies during the early years of the war. From 1942 until his untimely death in March 1944, he organized and led the famed British-Indian "Chindits," courageously assisted by the United States 1st Air Commando Group, against the Japanese. It was Orde Wingate's ambition to lead Israel's army in its fight for independence, but tragically he died before he could fulfill that dream. Wingate is buried in a joint grave at Arlington National Cemetery with the other members of his American and British air crew that crashed in Burma in March 1944. Prime Minister Winston Churchill hailed Orde Wingate as "a man of genius who might well have become also a man of destiny." In a letter to the JWV, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Richard B. Myers stated, "At a time when many uncertainties face our world, it is important to recognize the value of unity and the sacrifices required to ensure global peace. Orde Wingate symbolizes that bond and commitment." Maryland Governor Bob Ehrlich noted that, "Orde Wingate was not an American by birth, but like the men and women of the American military he spent his lifetime fighting for peace and justice throughout the world." For over thirty years, the JWV and Post 58 have honored General Wingate at his gravesite at Arlington National Cemetery. The keynote speaker at this year's Wingate ceremony will be Israel's Ambassador to the United States Daniel Ayalon. Also speaking will be National JWV Commander Daniel Weiss; British Army Military Attaché Brigadier John James Keeling, CBE; Major General John R. Alison, USAF (Ret.), former deputy commander of the United States 1st Air Commando Group which supported the Chindits campaign in Burma; American University Law Professor Nicholas Kittrie, who served under Wingate in Ethiopia; and Chaplain (Brigadier General) James M. Hutchens (Ret.), Senior Pastor of Christ Church of Arlington and chairman of Christians for Israel (USA). Darin Selnick, Special Assistant to the Secretary of Veteran's Affairs, will represent the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs at the ceremony. Navy Chaplain Jonathan A. Panitz of the Bethesda Naval Medical Center will officiate, and PNC Robert M. Zweiman, Chairman of the JWV Coordinating Committee, will serve as master of ceremonies. The 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment ("The Old Guard") and the United States Naval Academy Jewish Midshipmen's Club will also participate in the ceremony. Supporting organizations for the Wingate ceremony include the Jewish War Veterans National Ladies' Auxiliary; John and Bernard Wilner - National Capitol Ladies' Auxiliary #381 Jewish War Veterans of the USA; 1st Air Commando Association; VFW Post 8469 (Fairfax); Catholic War Veterans of the USA; the American Legion (National Headquarters); the American Legion Department of the District of Columbia; Jewish Federation of Greater Washington; Jewish Community Council of Greater Washington; Jewish Community Center of Greater Washington; Friends of Yemin Orde; Young Judaea - Seaboard Region; Hadassah (Greater Washington Area Chapter); University of Maryland Hillel; American University Hillel; George Washington University Hillel; George Mason University Hillel; the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA); Workmen's Circle Branch 494/92 of the National Capital Area; Congregation Kesher Israel (Georgetown); Congregation Har Shalom (Potomac); Silver Spring Jewish Center; Agudas Achim Congregation (Alexandria); Congregation B'nai Tzedek (Potomac); Congregation Beth El (Bethesda); Congregation Har Tzeon-Agudath Achim (Silver Spring); Congregation Beth Emeth (Herndon); Temple Micah (Washington, DC); Beth El Hebrew Congregation (Alexandria); Congregation Or Chadash (Gaithersburg); Temple Rodef Shalom (Falls Church); Temple Beth Ami (Rockville); Temple Solel (Bowie); Beth Torah Congregation (Hyattsville); Gesher Jewish Day School of Northern Virginia; American Jewish Committee -Washington Chapter; Israel-America Chamber of Commerce & Industry; British Israel Law Association (BISLA); (British) Association of Jewish Ex-Servicemen and Women; and JWB Jewish Chaplains Council. JWV is dedicated to America's veterans. Through its hospital, rehabilitation and veterans' service programs, JWV assists the Veterans' Service Offices in major cities throughout the country. JWV supports the underprivileged, homeless, and handicapped of our nation through a variety of civic betterment projects, including low-cost, federally subsidized senior citizens housing. JWV also works to combat anti-Semitism and bigotry. JWV supports American youth through scouting, scholarships and anti-drug programs. The organization supports strong U.S.-Israeli relations by sponsoring an Allied Veterans' Missions to Israel each year. JWV is a familiar presence on Capitol Hill, providing its opinions on matters of National Defense and the Armed Forces. Directions to Orde Wingate Ceremony: Arlington National Cemetery is located on the Virginia side of the Potomac River, just across the Memorial Bridge from Washington, DC. The Memorial Bridge is located at the base of the Lincoln Memorial. From the Cemetery parking lot, turn left on Eisenhower Drive, then right on McClellan Drive, and, finally, left on Grant Drive. Proceed on Grant Drive to gravesite 288, Section 12 which will be on the left side of Grant Drive. The JWV encourages attendees to walk from the Cemetery parking lot to the Wingate gravesite so that automobile congestion is minimized. While private automobiles are not normally permitted to drive in the cemetery, the JWV has received special permission from the Superintendent to permit cars to drive to the Wingate ceremony. If you wish to drive directly to the gravesite, advise the guard at the Main Gate to Arlington that you are attending the Orde Wingate ceremony, and you will be permitted to drive to the gravesite.


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