15 August, 2012

15 August 1945

438th AAA AW BN
APO 513 % Postmaster, N.Y.
15 August, 1945      0900

My dearest sweetheart –

On this – VJ day – I love you more than ever before and I want you something fiercely. I must admit it finally, darling, I’m terribly impatient – more than I’ve ever let you know. With this happy day – there’s no more fighting to be done and I can actually look forward to a day of discharge, with no uniform, white shirt, colored tie and you! What a combination of words, sweetheart – but you know what I mean. Everything that return home and discharge mean, add up to you, and it’s just impossible for me, dear, to tell you how I feel when I know now that I can come home to you and stay – and furthermore – realize that I can get started again in practice. Suffice it to say that I’m tremendously happy that we’ve come this far together. The rest of the way is going to be easy.

We waited up until midnight last night – and still the news didn’t break. But at 0700 today I got BBC and there it was. Some of the boys wanted to celebrate last night but we held off. But today we’ll make up for it. VJ Day comes once in a lifetime and I want to remember it. Now no one knows how the deployment back home will work – but once they get rid of those outfits who are already in the staging areas – they’ll probably go by units and by priority – and this outfit is certainly up in the first third, I should say. So keep waiting, sweetheart!

I got a letter from you yesterday – 3 August – and a card from Dad A. The letter mentioned he had heard from Lawrence in Manila and I’m glad he arrived safely. He’ll probably have to sweat out the occupation of Japan – but at least it will be safe.

Your letter was sweet, darling, as are all of them. You mentioned the fellow from Portland calling you and your refusing to go out with him. What interested me mostly was your reasons for refusing, sweetheart – and I love your sincerity, faithfulness and patience.

Say, I had no idea you knew so much about the horses. I’m afraid, dear, you’ll find me very ignorant about that particular sport. I’ve just never cared for it – and I guess you’ll just have to classify me as a non-gambling man. However, if you want to go from time to time – we’ll go – if I can get away.

And now, darling, I’ll have to quit. There are still some patients to see. I wrote in between sick-call – because I couldn’t wait to tell you how much I love you and want you – and how happy I am that the day of our being together again comes closer now – by leaps and bounds. Sit tight, sweetheart – and I’ll be getting back to you.

Love to the folks – and
All my sincerest and deepest love –


about The War is Over!!!

In the following video, Truman announces the surrender of Japan to the press in Washington, D.C. on 14 August 1945. The picture below the video shows the press listening intently...

In the following picture, British Prime Minister Clement Attlee (right) and Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin are photographed at 10 Downing Street, London, UK at midnight on 14 August 1945. They had just announced, in a speech broadcast to Britain and the Empire, the news of the Japanese surrender.

Also on 14 August 1945, Japanese Emperor Hirohito recorded the news of Japan's surrender to his nation.

So it was that at noon on 15 August 1945, for the first time in history, the voice of the Japanese emperor was heard on the radio. His Imperial Majesty Hirohito had recorded the message the previous day, and he spoke to his people in the very formal language of the Imperial Court, which many of his subjects could not understand. Here is the beginning of his speech:
To Our good and loyal subjects: After pondering deeply the general trends of the world and the actual conditions obtaining to Our Empire today, We have decided to effect a settlement of the present situation by resorting to an extraordinary measure. We have ordered Our Government to communicate to the Governments of the United States, Great Britain, China and the Soviet Union that Our Empire accepts the provisions of their Joint Declaration.

To strive for the common prosperity and happiness of all nations as well as the security and well-being of Our Subjects is the solemn obligation which has been handed down by Our Imperial Ancestors, and which we lay close to heart. Indeed, We declared war on America and Britain out of Our sincere desire to ensure Japan's self-preservation and the stabilization of East Asia, it being far from Our thought either to infringe upon the sovereignty of other nations or to embark upon territorial aggrandisement. But now the war has lasted for nearly four years. Despite the best that has been done by everyone -- the gallant fighting of the military and naval forces, the diligence and assiduity of Our servants of the State and the devoted service of Our one hundred million people, the war situation has developed not necessarily to Japan's advantage, while the general trends of the world have all turned against her interest. Moreover, the enemy has begun to employ a new and most cruel bomb, the power of which to damage is indeed incalculable, taking the toll of many innocent lives. Should We continue to fight, it would not only result in an ultimate collapse and obliteration of the Japanese nation, but also it would lead to the total extinction of human civilization. Such being the case, how are We to save the millions of Our subjects; or to atone Ourselves before the hallowed spirits of Our Imperial Ancestors? This is the reason why We have ordered the Acceptance of the provisions of the Joint Declaration of the Powers...

The following video is typical of most showing the celebrations across the United States upon the surrender of Japan...

The following video has rare color images of the celebration in New York on 15 August 1945. It also has some sobering thoughts beyond that exultant day.

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