“Seventy years ago today, the world let out a massive sigh. It wasn’t the end of World War II – fierce fighting continued in the Pacific – but it was the day marking victory in Europe. People poured into the streets of London and Paris. New York was more subdued – a ticker tape parade – but just as happy. A more somber, more massive parade took place in Moscow, with legions of troops marching in lockstep through Red Square and fireworks over the Kremlin.
“Winston Churchill, who led Britain’s valiant struggle, told his countrymen that history would take this lesson from them: ”Do not despair, do not yield to violence and tyranny, march straightforward and die if need. Be unconquered.”
“In the 70 years of peace that we have enjoyed since the end of the war, the world has prospered and progressed even if it is still faced with grave challenges. The best honor we can give to the World War II generation is to continue to oppose the violence and tyranny they opposed and strengthen the peace and freedom they won.”
John Yemma, writing for The Christian Science Monitor, 5/08/2015
This is a solemn but glorious hour… For this victory, we join in offering our thanks to the Providence which has guided and sustained us through the dark days of adversity. Our rejoicing is sobered and subdued by a supreme consciousness of the terrible price we have paid to rid the world of Hitler and his evil band.
President Harry S. Truman
In the following sequence from the 1995 HBO production Truman, President Harry S. Truman surprises the White House kitchen staff late in the evening to share with them the just-received news of Germany’s surrender. It was Truman’s birthday, and he told them, “I got a message a few minutes ago… and it was the best birthday gift I’ve ever gotten!” When the chief cook informed him that her grandson was still fighting with US forces in the Pacific, Truman assured her, “We’re going to get him home too – just as fast as I can!”