The 2022 American Spirit Awards celebrated those whose work reflects the values and spirit of those who served our country during the World War II years. The events featured a Patron Reception on June 9, a luncheon and Billy Michal Student Leadership Forum and the Awards Gala on June 10.

Proceeds from the weekend’s trio of events, which took place between June 9-10, 2022, support educational programming at The National WWII Museum. This year raised $1,469,271 in support of the Museum’s mission.

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The American Spirit Award Honorees were: Norman C. Francis, JD, Educator, Civil Rights Pioneer and Veteran; Karen Guenther, Founder, President and CEO of Semper Fi and America’s Fund; Rick Atkinson, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and Military Historian; Frederick W. Smith, Veteran, Philanthropist, and Founder and Executive Chairman of FedEx Corporation; and The Navajo Code Talkers, including Thomas Begay, John Kinsel, Sr., Peter MacDonald and Samuel Sandoval.

The American Spirit Medallion Honorees were: Charles C. Teamer, Ph.D., Veteran, Educator and Civic Leader; The Honorable Jacquelyn Brechtel Clarkson, Long-time New Orleans City Council Member, Public Servant and Trustee Emerita of The National WWII Museum; and Carol Rittner, RSM, Ph.D., Author, Activist and Educator.

The Silver Service Medallion Honorees included: Bradford C. Freeman, WWII Veteran and Member of Easy Company; Romay Davis, WWII Veteran and Member of Women’s Army Corps (WAC) 6888th Battalion; and Lt. Commander Louis A. Conter, USN (Ret.), WWII Veteran and Pearl Harbor Survivor.

The Museum’s Victory Six band performed at the Patron Reception. The American Sector Restaurant and Bar provided culinary creations and Hancock Whitney served as presenting sponsor alongside many generous supporters. 

The American Spirit Awards

Bradford C. Freeman, Norman C. Francis, Sam Sandoval, Peter MacDonald

The American Spirit Awards

Jennifer Weggeland, Ted Weggeland 

The American Spirit Awards

Suzanne Mestayer, Charles Teamer Sr., Linda Teamer, Stephen Watson

The American Spirit Awards

Rick Atkinson, Jane Atkinson, Beth Mueller, Nick Mueller 

The American Spirit Awards

Karen Guenther, Madlyn Hilliard, Paul Hilliard, Tracy Bame 

The American Spirit Awards

John Doerner, Ann Doerner, Ann Hairston, John Hairston