The National Park Service named the city of Foley an American World War II Heritage City.
The designation is in honor of the Barin Field Training Center in Foley. The U.S. Navy opened the center on December 5, 1942, as an auxiliary training center for the Pensacola Air Station. Nearly 6,000 students were trained there in the first two years of operations.
The field also housed Navy personnel.
"The American World War II Heritage Cities Program honors the contributions of local towns, cities, counties and commemorates the stories of the men, women, and children whose bravery and sacrifices shaped the U.S. home front during World War II, and still impact our country today," a statement from the National Park Service said. "Foley played a critical role in this history, and we are pleased to recognize your jurisdiction as an American World War II Heritage City through the program."
Foley Mayor Ralph Hellmich said he is proud of the recent designation.
"Foley's recognition by the National Park Service is an incredible recognition of our city and area's support of our military and veterans," Hellmich said. "Even before World War II our area was patriotic but it certainly peaked during our nation's World War II effort. We should all be proud of this recognition."
On the homefront, a lot was happening during World War II to honor those serving the country. The Women's Club of Foley honored those in service by planting an oak tree as a living tribute. At the end of the war, a flagpole and stone marker were placed and remained at Foley's Heritage Park in honor of those who served in World War II. There is also a memorial at Max Griffin Park.
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