The Second World War was the deadliest conflict in world history; it pitted Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and the Empire of Japan, an alliance known as the Axis Powers, against America and its allies. The United States mobilized its entire military and civilian infrastructure, dedicating its full economic, industrial, and scientific capacity to fight the war. This is a war that was worldwide in scope, yet it was fought and won by men and women from ordinary places like Allentown, Bethlehem, and Easton.
In the Lehigh Valley as elsewhere, nothing would ever be quite the same again. WWII transformed American culture by creating the necessity of women to work in factories and industrial jobs formerly held by men. Those men, who marched off to war from cities, villages, and farms in the Lehigh Valley and elsewhere, faced the horrors of battle in faraway places like Europe, Africa, the South Pacific, and even India.
In this exhibit you will encounter real people from the Lehigh Valley who lived through this world-changing era. The exhibit tells their story—a story of supreme sacrifice. It honors the dead and the living – civilian and military – the people who saved America and the world in our darkest hour. The Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum is committed to enshrining the memory of the "Greatest Generation," for we must never forget their sacrifices.