Meet Our Volunteers
The National World War II Memorial celebrates a generation of Americans who emerged from the Depression and united to fight and win the most devastating war in world history.
Volunteers at the National World War II Memorial (“Yellow Hatters”) help enhance visitors’ experience in understanding the Memorial and how it relates to a very special time in American history.
The Volunteers are part of the National Park Service’s Volunteers-In-Parks (VIP) program. The Volunteers spend time at the Memorial assisting visitors, answering questions, and presenting interpretive talks about the Memorial.
Meet two of our volunteers below.
To find out how you can become a volunteer, click here.
George Kerestes has welcomed approximately 20,000 World War II veterans to the National World War II Memorial in Washington, DC with these words: “Thank you for your service and welcome to YOUR Memorial.” George was one of 5,000 volunteers at the May 29, 2004 dedication ceremony of the World War II Memorial. Since 2006, he has served as an official volunteer with the National Park Service, leading tours for school groups of all ages, countless veterans groups, and special purpose groups like “Wish of a Lifetime” as well as for the general public. He also has conducted training sessions and served as a mentor for new volunteers at the Memorial. In recognition of his outstanding volunteer work, George has received numerous awards, including Volunteer of the Year. In 2008, George received the President’s Call to Service Award in recognition of his more than 5,000 hours of lifetime community service to a variety of organizations, including his volunteer time at the World War II Memorial. Well known by the Honor Flight Network, whose mission is to transport veterans to their Memorials in Washington, DC, the Honor Flight chairman noted that George has probably shaken more World War II veterans hands at the Memorial than “any one on the planet!”
Since 1993, Dan Arant has served as an invaluable resource to the National Park Service, having volunteered over 10,000 hours on the National Mall in Washington, DC. He is deeply committed to the millions of tourists who visit the treasures on the Mall, especially the National World War II Memorial. He makes every effort possible to ensure he knows when the Honor Flight Network will be hosting veterans in DC and seeks to be present to bring the monuments and memorials to life for our nation’s veterans. Through his vast knowledge of the history of World War II, Dan inspires a profound connection between the veteran visitors and the World War II Memorial. Dan’s passion for America and its history serves as his most affluent quality as he guides our veterans throughout Washington, DC. He shares his knowledge, experiences, and understandings through a series of guided tours, narrations, photo-driven talks, and programs. Additionally, Dan uses his tremendous talents as a photographer to capture beautiful moments and memories at the World War II Memorial, which he shares with the veterans and the Friends of the National World War II Memorial. Dan, a Vietnam veteran, also volunteers at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the Korean War Veterans Memorial, and the Martin Luther King Memorial.
Dan is the recipient of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund Libby Hatch Award, two U.S. National Mall and Memorial Parks Volunteer of the Year Awards, and the Department of the Interior Take Pride In America National Outstanding Individual Volunteer Award.
©2020 Friends of the National World War II Memorial
Friends is grateful to the following Founding Sponsors for their ongoing commitment to preserving the legacy, lessons, and sacrifices of our Greatest Generation.