It's Over- page 37 | 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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When World War II ended, I was eight years old and away from home (for the first time) at a Girl Scout camp in Wisconsin. In mid-afternoon the chow bell began clanging furiously and my friends and I ran toward the dining tent to see what could be happening. "The war is over," we heard repeated again and again. My tent mates and I clapped and cheered and laughed. After all, we had all saved our pennies for Liberty bonds, collected tin cans and the foil from gum wrappers and even milk weed pods and had seen our families deal with gas and food rationing; we knew about the war. But then we stopped laughing suddenly. The older campers and counselors were hugging and crying—why?

Someone told us they were crying for joy. It was my first experience of that grown-up reaction to good news and I clearly recall my bewildered wonderment. It was a very special day.

Anne Dean Mackintosh
Cherry Hill, NJ




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