Rushville Republican

Columns

May 13, 2014

Remembering the end of WWII

I doubt if a lot of you out there would remember just what did occur on May 7, 1945. Heck, I have a hard time remembering what I did yesterday let alone 69 years ago. It actually had something to do with Dec. 7, 1941 and took a huge toll of people through out the world, 50 million to 60 million lives. It eventually involved almost all the countries of the world in one way or another. On May 7 1945, World War II had its first and biggest event, Germany surrendered to the Allies. Hitler had killed himself and his new wife and his country had finally gotten the ability to stop the carnage and destruction they had brought about.

Germany, Italy, almost all of Europe including Russia were in dire straights economically and politically. What were allies at first were now rapidly becoming enemies and would remain so for over 40 years. The German Army felt they needed to be helped, to get able to help the Americans to beat the Russians, they evidently saw something there we did not. Europe was largely rubble and destruction and the people were tired and ready to stop fighting. But they also knew Japan was still viable and still able to cause havoc in their area of the world and seemed to have no desire to quit fighting. England and the U.S. along with China and New Zealand, Australia and others in the Pacific area were ready to get this thing over with and back to normal.

I have a vivid memory of decking out my new Schwinn bicycle with red, white and blue bunting, putting all types of patriotic items numerous flags in a wagon to pull along behind my bike. Several others in the neighborhood, Bob Shields, Ray and Carl Evans, Reed Caldwell and others were right there along with me. We paraded up and down 13th Street singing, beating on pots and pans, waving flags and not being fully aware of just what we were celebrating. We knew something big had happened and mom was hoping my brother would be home soon. He flew B-17s during the war. Many other families we knew were hoping against hope that their loved ones would be coming home soon, that death would no longer be something everyone dreaded. Western Union Telegrams were at times bad news, a loved one had been killed or wounded neither of which was a good thing.

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Columns
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