It's Over- page 28 | 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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Then on our way home we spent some time watching an old steam locomotive roar back and forth on the tracks at high speed blowing its steam whistle like crazy. It was a great day.

Dick Lennard
Midlothian, VA





On August 15, 1945, I had just turned seven. I remember being on my firescape in the Bronx, New York. I had gone there to witness what was happening on the street below me. People were shouting and confetti was showering down. I had never seen anything like that before and was quite caught up in the moment. I asked my mom what was happening. She was crying and said that the war was over.

I felt happy but did not really understand what war was. I did understand that I had to shop for my mother using coupons. One day she had sent me to the store. I had the precious coupons in my hand when I left, but when I reached the store and opened my hand, they were gone. I started to cry and stood on the corner not wanting to go home and tell my mom the sad news.

There was a local paper called The Home News. A reporter happened to be on this corner and asked why I was crying. Tearfully, I told him my tale of woe. He printed the story in the The Home News and many strangers responded by sending my mother either cash or even the oh-so-precious coupons.

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