Theodore's World: V-E Day Remembered

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May 08, 2007

V-E Day Remembered

May 7, 1945: “Germany has surrendered unconditionally.”

This time the news was real. There had been two earlier reports; one was erroneous and the second officially premature.

On April 28, as the war continued in Europe, as Russian and American troops met on the River Elbe, there were rumours from San Francisco, the site of the conference leading to the founding of the United Nations.

The second report came on the morning of May 7, when there was a flash from The Associated Press saying Germany had surrendered.

The military surrender agreement for the German armed forces was signed at a schoolhouse in Rheims, France, at 2:41 a.m. local time on May 7, 1945, by Colonel General Gustav Jodl, chief of staff of the German army; Lt.-Gen. Walter Bedell Smith, chief of staff for the Supreme Allied Commander General Dwight D. Eisenhower; General Ivan Susloparov for Russia; and General Francois Sevez for France.

But there were no confirming bulletins from other news organizations – Allied headquarters had ordered the news withheld for 24 hours, even though German radio had announced the surrender.

Churchill went on the air, it was afternoon in the U.K.

In his speech, Mr Churchill said:

"We may allow ourselves a brief period of rejoicing; but let us not forget for a moment the toil and efforts that lie ahead. Japan with all her treachery and greed, remains unsubdued.

"We must now devote all our strength and resources to the completion of our task, both at home and abroad. Advance Britannia."

He then declared “Victory in Europe Day,” soon shortened to VE-Day.

And President Truman.................

Broadcast to the American People Announcing the Surrender of Germany
May 8, 1945
[Delivered from the Radio Room at the White House at 9 a.m.]

THIS IS a solemn but a glorious hour. I only wish that Franklin D. Roosevelt had lived to witness this day. General Eisenhower informs me that the forces of Germany have surrendered to the United Nations. The flags of freedom fly over all Europe.

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. Let us not forget, my fellow Americans, the
sorrow and the heartache which today abide in the homes of so many of our
neighbors-neighbors whose most priceless possession has been rendered as a sacrifice to
redeem our liberty.

We can repay the debt which we owe to our God, to our dead and to our children only by
work--by ceaseless devotion to the responsibilities which lie ahead of us. If I could give you a
single watchword for the coming months, that word is--work, work, and more work.

We must work to finish the war. Our victory is but half-won. The West is free, but the East is
still in bondage to the treacherous tyranny of the Japanese. When the last Japanese division has
surrendered unconditionally, then only will our fighting job be done.

We must work to bind up the wounds of a suffering world--to build an abiding peace, a peace
rooted in justice and in law. We can build such a peace only by hard, toilsome, painstaking
work--by understanding and working with our allies in peace as we have in war.

The job ahead is no less important, no less urgent, no less difficult than the task which now
happily is done.

I call upon every American to stick to his post until the last battle is won. Until that day, let no
man abandon his post or slacken his efforts. And now, I want to read to you my formal
proclamation of this occasion:

"A Proclamation--The Allied armies, through sacrifice and devotion and with God's help, have
wrung from Germany a final and unconditional surrender. The western world has been freed of
the evil forces which for five years and longer have imprisoned the bodies and broken the lives
of millions upon millions of free-born men. They have violated their churches, destroyed their
homes, corrupted their children, and murdered their loved ones. Our Armies of Liberation have
restored freedom to these suffering peoples, whose spirit and will the oppressors could never

"Much remains to be done. The victory won in the West must now be won in the East. The
whole world must be cleansed of the evil from which half the world has been freed. United, the
peace-loving nations have demonstrated in the West that their arms are stronger by far than the
might of the dictators or the tyranny of military cliques that once called us soft and weak. The
power of our peoples to defend themselves against all enemies will be proved in the Pacific war
as it has been proved in Europe.

"For the triumph of spirit and of arms which we have won, and for its promise to the peoples
everywhere who join us in the love of freedom, it is fitting that we, as a nation, give thanks to
Almighty God, who has strengthened us and given us the victory.

"Now, therefore, I, Harry S. Truman, President of the United States of America, do hereby
appoint Sunday, May 13, 1945, to be a day of prayer.

"I call upon the people of the United States, whatever their faith, to unite in offering joyful thanks
to God for the victory we have won, and to pray that He will support us to the end of our
present struggle and guide us into the ways of peace.

"I also call upon my countrymen to dedicate this day of prayer to the memory of those who have
given their lives to make possible our victory.

"In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States of
America to be affixed."

Posted by Wild Thing at May 8, 2007 12:55 AM


Hey Defeatocrats...German General Jodl signed the 'unconditional surrender' at SHAEF headquarters...fighting ended at 11:01 P.M. on May 9, 1945. The word 'surrender' is not in the red staters vocabulary! In the Civil War, Gen. Lee only surrendered his Army of Northern Virginia to Grant on April 9, 1865...The South will rise again! Pelosi and Reid are truly Defeatocrats!

Posted by: darthcrUSAderworldtour07 at May 8, 2007 07:03 AM

A better time. America was more united. The victory in WWII led to the most prosperous time in America. The late 40's and then the 50's and 60's were great times. We prospered. It was an honest time. There was little heard, or tolerated, from the Hate America crowd.

The political speeches during and after WWII were patriotic and inspiring. They motivated patriotism and a Can-Do spirit. Sadly, today, many speeches ridicule, demote, fracture unity and self serve radical anti-American agendas.

Also, in WWII, the entire nation was involved. Everyone sacrificed, even if it was only through rationing. But almost every family had someone in uniform. News was not immediate and it did not dwell on setbacks while ignoring battlefield success. America had just come out of a great depresson where again, almost everone suffered.

Now we have great afluence and a nation being fractured through selfishness and Balkanization. We need leadership which is articulate, inspiring and non compromising.

Posted by: TomR at May 8, 2007 07:43 AM

My question is why can't we win anything anymore?
Why does everyone just want to give away all the freedoms and enjoyments we have?
I know this is a free country, but gee whiz, give us a break and let us win this war!
I put my flag out today.
I will on June 6 for DDay and every other flag holiday, August 14, too (VJ Day).
I'm a patriot through and through. If you want to speak your mind, fine..but don't get mad when I speak mine.
We have a marvelous chance here, to give to our children and our children's children a fighting chance at a wonderful life, but we have to play our cards exactly right (like poker) and we have to quit squabbling amongst ourselves for the scraps from the dinner table. We've forgotten what it means to be a Patriotic American.

Posted by: Lynn at May 8, 2007 11:28 AM

The last winning war was WWII, by allied forces in Europe, soon after we turned our fate over to the Communists, Josef Stalin was granted Eastern Europe as the spoils of that war at Yalta by Roosevelt and Churchill to be held enslaved behind the Iron Curtain under harsh Communist rule.
Hardly had the dust settled from Nagasaki on August 9,1945 when a group of American Communists founded the organization that has governed our sovereignty and destiny ever since, the United Nations, founded on 24 October 1945. Their 18-acre New York City site was donated to the United Nations by John D. Rockefeller, Jr. and the Rockefeller Foundation was formed for Communist ideals. When we place our security and our sovereign right in the hands of the United Nations and base all our decisions upon their rules we will win no wars and we'll forever be slaves of Communist rule as dictated by the UN. Don't believe it? Look at who controls Congress and at George Soros who controls the Democrats. Thanks for remembering WT, my 3 calendars don't even mark the event that this nation was so much a part of. It's another way of dumbing down the masses, I expect to live long enough to see the national school system declare that Franklin D. Roosevelt was the founder and first president of this country.

Posted by: Jack at May 8, 2007 02:11 PM

Darth, they sure are.

That's right the word surrender is not in our vocabulary.

Posted by: Wild Thing at May 9, 2007 12:35 AM

Tom, yes, I wish we were all united like that.

Posted by: Wild Thing at May 9, 2007 12:35 AM

Lynn, your so right, all this in fighting is destroying our country.

Posted by: Wild Thing at May 9, 2007 12:38 AM

Jack thank you.
So few people want to know the truth, it amazes me. The little that is in left in the history books will probably be like you said too later on. So sad.

Posted by: Wild Thing at May 9, 2007 12:41 AM

See. That is what happens when our people aren't obstacles to our military - they win. Is it so hard to grasp that? Get out of they way and this could have been wrapped already.

Posted by: raz0r at May 9, 2007 06:34 PM