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Happy V-J Day!

The famous kiss at Times Square, New York City, 14 Aug 1945 (Photographer: Victor Jorgensen; US National Archives)

The famous kiss at Times Square, New York City, 14 Aug 1945 (Photographer: Victor Jorgensen; US National Archives)

Seventy years ago, on August 14, 1945, World War II came to an end when Emperor Hirohito of Japan signed his acceptance of the Potsdam Declaration demanding unconditional surrender to the Allies. The surrender was announced in the United States at 7pm Eastern War Savings Time.

The following day, August 15, was officially proclaimed V-J Day (Victory in Japan), a day of celebration and thanksgiving.

Almost six years had passed since Germany had invaded Poland on September 1, 1939, beginning the most costly war the world had ever seen. Europe and Asia lay in ruins. Tens of millions of people had lost their lives in combat, bombings, and extermination camps. Very few families were unaffected by the war, even in the US, where only a few bombs landed from a handful of shellings by Japanese submarines.

It’s hard for us to imagine the extreme jubilation that erupted seventy years ago today.

Take a moment today and imagine. Imagine the jubilation, the sense of relief that the horror was over, that you would survive, that those around you would survive, that you could go on with your life and pursue your dreams.

Take a moment today and give thanks. Thank the veterans, and nurses, and home front workers who made that victory possible. Thank the members of our armed forces today who continue to keep us safe. And thank the Lord for strengthening us and watching over us.

Take a moment today and celebrate!