Where were you on Victory Day?
Crowds gathered in Times Square to celebrate the end of World War II. Where were you?
Some events are indelibly marked in memory. Time and other actions cannot erase these moments. They may fade into the background while day-to-day activities of life take precedence, but those memories are waiting to be called to the foreground at a moment’s notice.
One such memory for many residents of Brevard County can be brought to life with the question, “Where were you and what were you doing when you heard that Japan had surrendered and World War II had ended?”
On Aug. 14, 1945, the announcement marking the end of the war sparked spontaneous celebrations across America. In large cities, small towns and rural villages across the nation, the news spread quickly.
Newspapers announced: Peace!, War Over, Japan Surrenders — Allies Cease Fire, Truman Proclaims Victory, Complete Surrender and We Did It Again! Radios spread the news almost as fast as word of mouth. Second editions showed photographs of crowded city streets with headlines that announced: They All Came to Celebrate in Times Square Today, Huge Celebration Here to Greet Peace and Celebration Wildest in History of City. In cities large and small, people stopped working to go out into the streets to celebrate.
One of the most recognizable moments from that day is a photograph taken by Alfred Eisenstaedt, called “VJ Day, The Kiss” when the photographer caught a spontaneous moment between strangers. Especially in the past 10 years, what some call The Times Square Kiss has been recreated in art and by people dressed as sailors and nurses for flash mobs.
That kiss, as iconic as it is, was just one glimpse into what people were doing when they heard the news that one of the most horrible wars of our nation’s history had ended. As crowded as Times Square was, other people were doing other things in other cities and towns when they heard the news.
Senior Life wants to know: Where were you and what were you doing when you heard that Japan had surrendered and World War II had ended?
We will be interviewing members of the Greatest Generation who would like to share their memories about that day and would like to make appointments so we can come to you. We will send a videographer and a writer so we can record your story two ways. We regret that we will not be able to record historical or second-hand versions of memories for this project as we are expecting record numbers of veterans and civilians who were living on Aug. 14, 1945. If you were an adult or a child at that time and remember where you were and what you were doing, we want to hear from you.
For more information or to schedule your appointment, call 321-242-1235.