66th Anniversary of World War II Surrender Aboard USS Missouri

It’s been 66 years since the Second World War came to an end. Its effects on the world were tremendous. The scars left would take a long, long time  to heal. On the deck of the USS Missouri on September 2, 1945, in Tokyo Bay, after nearly forty-five months of war, General Douglas MacArthur accepted Japan’s surrender, effectively ending World War II.

Leading to the surrender

Japan’s efforts in the war were waning in 1945. A series of events in July and August brought the end in sight for the Imperial Japanese Navy. By the end of July 1945, despite public statements that Japan will fight until the very end, the country’s leaders were quietly preparing a peaceful request for sympathy from the neutral Soviet Union. And then, tragedy struck the islands of Japan. On the morning of August 6, 1945, the Americans dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima. Devastation was paramount, and the city itself was obliterated almost beyond repair.  By August 8, the Soviet Union declared war on Japan, disregarding their pact of neutrality between the two countries. Then, just three days after the Hiroshima bombing, the United States dropped another atomic bomb, this time on the town of Nagasaki, killing up to 80,000 people. At Hiroshima, anywhere from 90,000 to 166,000 people lost their lives in the nuclear attack. Six days after the Nagasaki bombing, Japan Emperor Hirohito announced its World War II Surrender over the radio airwaves on August 15, 1945.

The USS Missouri

Located today at Pearl Harbor, the USS Missouri had entered Tokyo Bay at the end of August for the signing of the official instrument of surrender by Japan. The battleship had achieved the highest regards for its achievements in the war throughout the Pacific. On the deck of the “Mighty “Mo” is a plaque to commemorate the surrender of Japan. Each year, the American Battleship hosts a commemoration of the event in Pearl Harbor.

An Invitation to the Ceremony

All guests are invited to RSVP to the World War II Surrender Ceremony, to be held on Sept 2, 2011.

 

Remembering the War

The Official Pearl Harbor Memorial Tours website offers a library of information about Pearl Harbor, why it happened and who was involved. The USS Missouri’s mission is to “Create and maintain a fitting memorial to the people and historic events reflecting our nation’s legacy of duty, honor, strength, resolve, and sacrifice.” To extend your learning experience, join Discover Hawaii Tours for a visit to the USS Missouri and Pearl Harbor.

Essential Reading

USS Missouri at War by Kit and Carolyn Bonner. The Last Battleship : The Story of the USS Missouri by Scott C. Stone

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