WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Historian Wilbur Jones has dedicated much of his life to World War II, including helping get a bill passed in Congress and signed by the president.
“It’s taken an enormous amount of time because it had to be done," Jones said, "and I’m not going to give up. That’s my nature.”
His mission to have Wilmington designated as WWII Heritage City started in 2008, and he has worked with Congressmen to push the bill through.
The bill describes specific criteria outlining what a city had to have done during the war, and what a city has done since in terms of preservation.
“This is where Wilmington really comes out on top,” Jones said.
It’s hard for Jones, a retired Navy captain, to believe any city has more qualifications than Wilmington.
Between the renovated Hannah Block Historic USO Center, the NC Battleship, and marked WWII memorials around the city, Wilmington makes a strong case to be named the country’s first designated WWII Heritage City.
Although the bill has been passed and signed, it’s not certain when cities will start to be named.
According to Congressman David Rouzer, it could be within the next year.