I wrote this piece before viewing the first part of the fine Ken Burns’ documentary, “The War.” I highly recommend everyone to see the seven-part series.
Many of us remember where we were when cataclysmic events occurred in the past. On Aug. 14, 1945, when Japan officially surrendered to end World War II, I was sitting on the back steps of my parental home. Church bells were ringing. Sirens were wailing.
I was crying happy tears because I knew my three brothers would return from their military service. A neighbor’s 5-year-old son came running up to me, waving his little arms as he shouted my name to tell me his daddy would be coming home soon as well as “everybody.”
Aug. 6 and 9 are two more dates to live in infamy. That was when atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki to end the fighting.
Two of my brothers returned from their tours of duty in fall 1945. The third remained in the Navy until January 1946.
Walking down the street one time with one brother, I asked him why he walked so “funny.” He said he had been on a ship for so long and was used to the “roll of the ship” with each step he took.
Things began to change on the home front.
Bass and tenor voices belonging to returning veterans were once again heard in church choirs. Leather became available in the manufacture of civilian footwear. Nylon – no longer reserved for making parachutes – replaced the baggy rayon hose we women wore. Two separate stockings were worn then, not pantyhose. TV sets replaced radios as our source for news and entertainment.
This year is not a significant anniversary of that memorable surrender, like a 50th or 75th would be. But my thoughts always turn back to that historic time when we thought we had finally achieved world peace.
Alas, it turned out not to be true.