It's Over- page 2 | History | Smithsonian
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It's Over

We asked readers to tell us where they were and how they reacted to the news that World War II had ended. And what a response we got!

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I took her advice. I celebrated, and here I am 60 years later, a husband, father and grandfather whose family includes my German-born wife, whom I met while serving in Berlin during my second enlistment (1949-50), and a Japanese daughter-in-law, married to one of our sons, a Navy SEAL.

My war is over. Life is good.

Howard Ellis
Moreno Valley, California





For me, the end of World War II did not mean rejoicing and dancing in the street. I was a young mother living in the town of Laurel, Mississippi, with two small children and very little food and money. My husband, Aubry, a fighter pilot, was missing in action somewhere near Rome, Italy. It would be a whole year before he was officially declared "killed in action." The only news I ever finally received about his death was that he had been firing on German vehicles when he radioed that his plane had been hit.

Aubry had left to go overseas without knowing for certain that I was pregnant. I received many letters from him, but wished he knew that we had a second daughter, whom I named after him. Sadly, all my letters came back after his death in one package, unopened. During the anxious months of not knowing what had happened to Aubry, I focused on our two little girls, Mary and Aubrey. To help with our food problem, I planted a vegetable garden. To make us smile, I planted lots of bright flowers.

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