It's Over- page 27 | 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 12 years old on August 15, 1945. My mother, sister and I were on a two-week vacation in Wildwood, New Jersey. My friend Charlie and I were on the boardwalk in the evening when an announcement came over the loudspeakers that the Japanese had surrendered and the war was over. After a brief hush, people began shouting, hugging and rejoicing. Many people broke down and cried. Total strangers were united in a feeling of relief and joy. Charlie and I ran back to our boarding house to celebrate with our families. To us, it meant my brother Frank would be returning from Okinawa after fighting in the Pacific since the beginning of the war. What a relief and cause to celebrate.

Nicholas D. Possumato
Vineland, NJ





I was 12 years old and living in Marshall, Minnesota, a small city in the southwestern part of the state. Some friends and I were playing "war" using the large window wells in the local Catholic church as our bunkers. We were busy popping up and shooting at each other and throwing make-believe grenades when one of the priests stepped out of the rectory and shouted to us. We thought we were in trouble until we heard him yell: "You can stop shooting now, the war is over!"

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