Today's History Lesson...peace at the end of war!
This day should not pass without remembrance of a monumental day in history. Remember this day today, tomorrow and all the tomorrows to come. It is an intricate part of America's freedom.
This Day in History: September 2, 1945
It's hard to imagine what life was like during times of world war. Only the remaining veterans of such a horrendous war truly know. For most of us, it is only what we read, watch on film and study as recorded history. For some of us, there is an ancestral personal connection. With the passing of the greatest generation, memories of the sights, sounds, terrors and triumphs from the attacks on Pearl Harbor to D-Day to the landing on Iwo Jima to V-J Day and all the horrors in between will gradually disappear.
Kissing the war goodbye took place on August 14, 1945 with the announcement of Japan's unconditional surrender to the Allies being made public to the Japanese people. The ceremony officially ending the war did not take place for another few weeks, when Japanese representatives signed the documents of surrender aboard the USS Missouri battleship in Tokyo Bay on September 2, 1945.
Representatives of Japan stand aboard USS Missouri
prior to signing of the Instrument of Surrender.
Instrument of Surrender on behalf of the Allied Powers
Japanese Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu signing
the Instrument of Surrender on behalf of the Japanese Government,
formally ending World War IIAccording to recorded historical estimates, anywhere from 60 to 80 million people died during World War II, on all sides of the conflict. V-J Day should be seen as not only the celebration of the defeat of the tyrannical Japanese government of the time, but also the remembrance of those who fought, especially those who lost their lives.
By 2036, it is estimated there will be no living veterans of World War II left to recount their experiences. Should you know a veteran of WWII, perhaps as a friend or family member, be sure to reach out and make contact. If you do not know of someone close, seek out a veteran to let that person know how appreciative you are for undying service to and for America. For the veterans who survived the ordeal, the memories are too painful so don't expect lengthy conversation about the war. Most never talk about the battle(s) that haunt them to the grave. For that reason, it is not unusual for the sons and daughters of WWII veterans to know almost nothing of their fathers' wartime experience.
I invite you to join with me in a time of remembrance in the life of my dad filled with unspoken words yet overflowing with emotion...Traditions with Papa! He served at Iwo Jima and returned home.