It's Over- page 44 | 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 was born July 17, 1941, the second child of Lorance and Kathryn Evers in Iowa City, Iowa. My father was finishing medical school. By 1943, my father had completed his Residence Training in Ann Arbor, Michigan and had joined the Army, eventually being stationed in occupied Germany. My mother moved to her hometown of Monmouth, Illinois, close to her father and sisters, whom I believe had husbands or boyfriends all serving in the armed forces as well. I remember tire drives, Liberty Gardens, ration cards, squeezing color into margarine and saving bacon fat. Eardrums were pierced with a hot wire when infections occurred, as all the antibiotics were saved for wounded soldiers. My mother and her sisters cried a lot. Later I learned that many of those tears came when the Germans were defeated and soldiers were being mobilized to fight the Japanese, and husbands and boyfriends would once again be in harm's way. A cloud of worry and sadness was always about our home.

On August 15, 1945, I remember people running into our upstairs apartment, everyone hugging, crying, shouting with happiness. My grandfather came in smiling and tears were coming down his cheeks. That really got my attention, as he was normally a stern man. We went to what I remember as the town square, although I think it is really a circle. The fire trucks were running through the streets, and I remember firemen with drums and horns making huge sounds, and everyone was laughing and crying with joy. Months of sadness ended that great day.

Bruce Evers
Salem, OR



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