It's Over- page 4 | 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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In 1945, I was working in a textile factory in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The factory had previously manufactured curtains but now was making U.S. Army coats and jackets. The bulk materials were cut into patterns; the seamstresses stitched the coats and jackets, and others folded them and prepared them for shipping.

All of the women worked together, but I was specifically involved with the team folding and preparing the jackets for shipping. One of the things we always took it upon ourselves to do was to put cheery notes in the jacket pockets like "You are in our prayers," "We are thinking of you and your safe return," "We have not forgotten you," and "A big thank you from all of us." We knew a soldier would find the note and perhaps it would brighten his day. After all, everyone knew someone in the Army.

I remember August 15 very clearly. It was announced over the loudspeaker that the war was over. The hum from the sewing machines stopped, and everyone stood in shock. For a moment, there was complete silence. Then women started crying, screaming and hugging each other. Most of us went to the Boston docks to join other workers from around the city to rejoice. It's a day I will always remember!

Ann Ferrara Januario
Lynn, Massachusetts



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