Officials in the United States heard of the surrender on the 14 and from Washington President Harry Truman went on the radio airwaves to announce the news and proclaim, “This is the day we have been waiting for since Pearl Harbor. This is the day when Fascism finally dies, as we always knew it would.”
Jubilant Americans declared August 14 “Victory over Japan Day,” or “V-J Day.” (May 8, 1945–when the Allies accepted Nazi Germany’s official surrender–had previously been dubbed “Victory in Europe Day,” or “V-E Day.”)"
Images from the Library of Congress.
As most of the world celebrated, the main characters in my historical fiction, TWILIGHT OF MEMORY, remembering what the war had cost them, reflected quietly. For Henry, the loss came just months after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. His Japanese-American fiancé, along with her entire community disappeared from their western Colorado home. Even by the end of the war, a hard fought war which had almost cost Henry his life as a member of the U.S. Army 10th Mountain Division, Henry had no knowledge of her whereabouts.
With the help of an English Nurse, Daisy, Henry had eventually learned to move forward. Daisy in turn, allowed Henry to help her heal from the loss of her entire family in the London Blitz. Healing together in Italy, they learned to look beyond war.
Now, in August of 1945, as the war finally ends, they do not join the wild celebrations around them, but sit together and quietly look from the past to the future. After moments of shared silence and personal reflection they turn to each other.
Almost in a whisper Henry said, "I'm glad it's finally over and laid to rest. Now, my darling, no more heartache. We can go home in peace."
"Home," Daisy repeated as she kissed Henry passionately.
"Home," she repeated more softly as she allowed the lovely, peaceful images Henry had verbally painted of his valley in western Colorado to fill her with hope.
But what waited for them at home?
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