A birthday celebration and the end of the war on the same day. May 8, 1945, President Harry S. Truman celebrated his 61st birthday. Less than a month before on April 12, Franklin D. Roosevelt had succumbed to a cerebral hemorrhage.
Truman’s birthday wasn’t the only celebration. May 8, 1945 witnessed Truman, Winston Churchill and Joseph Stalin officially accepting the surrender of the Third Reich of Nazi Germany. With flags still at half-mast, Truman commemorated Roosevelt for the victory. The time zone affected Russia and many European countries remembrance of VE Day as May 9th.
May 8th, Mrs. Roosevelt wrote:
Dear Mr. President,
I listened to your Proclamation this morning and I was deeply moved. I am so happy that this Day has come and the war in Europe is over. It will in a small way lighten your burdens for which we are all grateful.
My congratulations to you on your Proclamation and on your birthday, and my best wishes that your future birthdays will be happier ones.
Very sincerely yours,
Don't bother to answer please! My warm regards to Mrs. Truman.
In his address, Truman stated, “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 be done."
This year marks the 65th anniversary of this world-changing event. World War II ended, sending millions to the streets in ecstasy. In the video below, Winston Churchill proclaims victory in Europe.
We can reminiscence this enormous feat with gratefulness to the many thousands who secured our freedom.