Tuesday, August 14, 2007

WW 2

Lest we forget:

Today is the anniversary of the day on which President Harry Truman
announced that the Second World War had come to an end. You might
argue that more human beings were happy on this day in 1945 than on
any other day in history.It was the worst war in history. An
estimated 60 million people died; about two-thirds of them were
civilians. In the United States, the war had been going on for three
years and eight months. About one in every eight Americans served in
the warÑmore than 16 million American soldiers. Virtually every
American family had at least one member overseas. With 400,000
Americans killed, most families knew somebody who had died in the
war, and the most American casualties had come in the last year of
the war.Most Americans had believed that the war was far from over.
The first few battles on Japanese islands had been some of the
bloodiest battles of the war. Military analysts were projecting
horrific losses, casualty estimates in the hundreds of thousands. But
after the atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the
Japanese suddenly accepted terms of complete surrender. And the
announcement was made on this day at about 7:00 p.m. The newswires
carried the headline, "Japan Surrenders.There were spontaneous
celebrations and parades in every major city in America. In New York
City, more than a million people filled the streets, overflowing
Times Square, the crowd stretching from 40th all the way up to 52nd
street. Factories blew their whistles. Air raid sirens went off.
Ships and trains and cars honked their horns. Churches tolled their
bells.Americans had been living under strict food and gas rationing,
and once the news arrived, people went to the gas stations, filled up
their cars and went riding around for the fun of it. Throughout the
war, people had tried to keep their lights off after dark to save
energy, but on this night, people turned on their lights and left
them on all night. Some children who'd grown up during the war saw
the streets lit up with lights for the first time.And one thing that
commentators noticed at the time was that nobody shouted, "We've won
the war!" or anything about triumph. They simply shouted, "The war is
over!The most famous photograph of that day in 1945 showed a sailor
in Times Square kissing a nurse in a white uniform. The nurse's name
was Edith Shain. She later said, "When I was kissed, I closed my
eyes. I didn't look at him. It was a startling thing. But I thought,
this man had fought the war for all of us." The photograph of the
sailor and the nurse was the cover of LIFE magazine that next week
and that photo has been reprinted thousands of times.


metalman108 MSN said...

biking   i watch the military channel 243 on rogers, i wonder if you watch the military channel.      

biking2006 MSN said...

I used to watch the military channel but I've weaned myself off the TV. Not sure who rogers is though.

metalman108 MSN said...

get a 52 inch plasma, with sound around, you will be addicted 100%.