Remembering V-J Day

65 years ago a determined generation of Americans celebrated V-J Day.  It almost didn’t happen as Japanese Army officers tried to prevent Emperor Hirohito’s radio broadcast to the Japanese people announcing the defeat. 
 
Like so many others my dad was a farm boy from Indiana when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor.  He enlisted into the Navy and spent the war on the USS Chester, a heavy cruiser.  The most interesting picture of the Chester was taken in 1936 as it docked in Brazil.  It was escorting the ship carrying FDR on a “Good Neighbor” cruise.  That ship was another cruiser, the USS Indianapolis.  If you don’t know the history of that ship you really need to look it up. 
 
My dad served on occupation duty in Japan after the war ended and I remember his impressions of the Japanese culture that did not tolerate criminals.  But it was also many years before he could talk about Hondas and Datsuns without getting mad.  When he bought a Honda mower and a Snapper with a Kawasaki engine he commented that “the SOB’s make a good engine”. 
 
Wars make strange bedfellows and they go separate ways when it’s over.  2 men fought as hard against the Japanese as we did during the war.  They later became household names in America; Mao and Ho Chi Minh.
 
We face many challenges today, not the least of which is the overwhelming debt that is the biggest danger to our way of life.  When the time comes I hope we Baby Boomers and our kids and grand-kids have the same type of character that brought this nation through the Great Depression and World War 2.
 
The 20th Century was truly the American Century.  Hopefully future generations will speak proudly of the American 21st Century.

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