The state of Michigan is gearing up to recognize the contributions of its men, women and children who served in the armed forces or contributed in other ways on the homefront in World War II. Known as the “Michigan WWII Legacy Memorial,” the memorial will serve as the official recognition to honor those who served overseas and on the homefront.

The non-profit organization is raising funds to construct the lasting memorial honoring those who fought and sacrificed for victory when president Franklin D. Roosevelt issued his “Arsenal of Democracy” call in 1940. World War II burst out on Dec. 7, 1941 when Japan raided Pearl Harbor. Germany and her Allies were causing havoc in Europe at the time. The U.S. Congress then declared war on both countries. 

The unique memorial will be sited in Memorial Park in Royal Oak, Mich., which is near Detroit. It will span three-quarters to one acre. The organization working on the project is aiming to have the memorial completed in time for the gigantic celebration planned to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the end of the war in 2020. 

Taxpayers interested in making a contribution should use the Michigan voluntary contribution schedule form 4642. Taxpayers are reminded that the schedule form is an additional form and not a part of the standard Michigan 1040 form. Tax advisers will explain the details. 

More than 620,000 Michigan residents served in the armed forces during the grueling war and 15,458 never returned home. Many of the veterans and homeland contributors have faded into history. The memorial organizers don’t want their legacy to fade away, too. 

Michigan’s World War II legacy didn’t stop the men and women who marched off to war and served on active duty. Thousands more remained on the homefront to make Michigan one of the top manufacturing states in the nation with workers in factories producing ships, tanks, military vehicles, aircraft, ammunition, food supplies, clothing and a host of other materiel and equipment. 

Children at home purchased stamps that bought war bonds to help finance the war. They chipped in with citywide newspaper and magazine pickup drives, collected tin, copper and scrap iron, which was used by factories in manufacturing products to fight the war. 

Menominee County alone produced parts for gliders, life boats, shell castings, chairs, gloves and electronic devices. One foundry made machine parts for the building of the atomic bomb, a project that was so secret foundry workers weren’t aware of its purpose. Other Upper Peninsula counties were engaged in producing various items for the armed forces, including iron ore and copper miners furnishing the raw materials for steel mills in other states. 

The Michigan World War II Legacy Memorial will be a fitting tribute to those who helped in the massive effort.