It would take another two weeks before the surrender documents were signed on the deck of the USS Missouri. But on this day in 1945, the Empire of Japan capitulated, bringing to a close the deadliest war in the history of mankind. Spanning across Europe, Asia, the Pacific, the Atlantic. Millions upon millions died, either through the direct effects of weapons, or through starvation, disease and deprivation.
The United States, spared the direct horrors of combat on its shores, emerged with a new status as a global leader. The use of atomic weapons changed forever the concept of massive, total warfare. The dynamics of global power were changed in ways that still reverberate today.
Millions of American men (and quite a few women) donned the uniforms of our nation’s armed forces. They fought hard, and learned to fight well. They won in every theater. They came home and grasped the opportunity to improve their lot in life, and boost the prosperity of their communities and nation as well.
Today, these veterans are a dying breed. Let us all take a moment to remember their efforts to secure the blessings of liberty to our nation.