It's Over- page 56 | 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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On August 15, 1945, I was a five year old vacationing on Lake Erie at Linwood Park, Vermillion, Ohio with my mother and brother. My father was not yet back from the war. When I was six months old, he left for Fort Bragg, North Carolina and then shipped out to the South Pacific. He did not return until I was five years old, after V-J Day. The beach was crowded that August day and my family was part of that crowd. Linwood was operated by the Evangelical United Brethren Church and their large, white tabernacle was a focal point in the park. Suddenly, the church bells began to ring. A murmur of excitement filled the air. Everyone on that beach picked up their blankets and beach gear and moved in one fluid motion up the stairs to the tabernacle for a joyous celebration and prayers of thanksgiving. Some details of that day are fuzzy in my mind—time of day, day of the week, the sermon and hym

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