Glendale "Bugler" - V-J Day

On August 14, 1945, air raid sirens howled in San Francisco shortly after 4 PM Pacific Time. But instead of seeking shelter, people took to the streets in tens of thousands - all of them wild with joy. The wail of the sirens signaled the end of the war in Japan. Car horns, factory whistles, ships' hooters, and church bells joined in -- and this scene was repeated across the U.S as traffic was brought to a halt by singing and cheering, kissing and carousing crowds.

In Washington, DC, military police were called in to keep an enthusiastic crowd out of the White House grounds -- and had to be rescued by more troops when they were crushed against railings and walls. An estimated two million New Yorkers converged on Times Square.

Amid the frenzy, thousands also knelt solemnly in churches to give thanks, seek solace, or pray for missing loved ones.

In Australia at the peak of festivities, one million celebrants were cheering, singing, and dancing in the streets of Sydney. Girls mobbed army lorries and jeeps, snatched off servicemen's hats and swapped kisses for autographs. Shredded tax forms were tossed from office windows. In London, American servicemen marched jubilantly to the American embassy, jeeps roared up and down Oxford Street, and a great cacophony of car horns, klaxons, police whistles, drums, bells, and dustbin lids rang out along the famous shopping thoroughfare. Civilians joined a great line of servicemen and women in a giant conga line headed by a kilted Scotsman.

Such was the overwhelming joy of V-J (Victory in Japan) or V-P (Victoria in the Pacific) Day -- 57 years ago!

Read more about the war in the Pacific, as well as in Europe and Africa, in Theaters of War: We Remember, a vivid and dramatic document of World War II as seen through the eyes and told from the hearts of those who experienced it. This 360-page book of first-person stories was compiled and edited by Wendy Lazar, president of Glendale. Former Senator Bob Dole wrote the Foreword, and all profits are being donated to The National World War II Memorial in Washington, DC.

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