The thoughts and hopes of all America--indeed of all the civilized world--are centered tonight on the battleship Missouri. There on that small piece of American soil anchored in Tokyo Harbor the Japanese have just officially laid down their arms. They have signed terms of unconditional surrender.
Four years ago, the thoughts and fears of the whole civilized world were centered on another piece of American soil--Pearl Harbor. The mighty threat to civilization which began there is now laid at rest. It was a long road to Tokyo--and a bloody one.
Harry S. Truman, radio address September 1, 1945
President Truman announced
terms of unconditional surrender
and suddenly my shortness
of breath and the tightness
in my chest are gone.
It's the first time in a long time
I've been able to breathe.
I never realized until just now
that for the past four years
I'd been holding my breath.
© Diane Mayr, all rights reserved. Photo courtesy Harry S. Truman Library & Museum