Lest we forget VJ Day

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On Aug. 6, 1945 the Enola Gay dropped the first atomic bomb used in warfare on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. Three days later on Aug. 9, 1945 a second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki,Japan.

Over 240,000 Japanese mostly civilians died as a result of those two bombs. On Aug.15, 1945 the Emperor of Japan, Hirohito announced that Japan would accept the stipulations in the Potsdam agreement and surrender unconditionally.

Although Aug. 15 is celebrated in other parts of the world as the end of the War in the Pacific, in the United States it is remembered on another day.

Sept.2 was Victory over Japan Day also known as Victory in the Pacific Day and VJ Day. VJ Day marks the formal surrender of the Japanese in World War II.

A formal ceremony was held in Tokyo Bay, Japan on Sept. 2, 1945 aboard the battleship USS Missouri. On theMissouri, representatives of the Japanese government signed the surrender ending the war in the Pacific and World War II.

This ended a brutal and horrific time in our history. During the War in the Pacific, the Allies suffered a loss of four million soldiers including 106,207 Americans. Over 25 million civilians in allied countries died.

The Chinese suffered 17 million of those civilian dead. The Japanese lost 2,133,915 soldiers as well as 960,000 civilians.

The battleship USS Missouri after seeing action in World War II, the Korean War and the Gulf War was decommissioned in 1992. In 1998 it became a floating museum and now lies anchored at Pearl Harbor overlooking the Arizona Memorial.

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