September 2, 1945: Japan Surrenders

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Japan surrendered on a Sunday 67 years ago in 1945.  The above is the only color video of the surrender ceremony.  One of my uncles, a Navy enlisted man, was present in Tokyo Bay when the surrender occurred.  Below is a newsreel that conveyed the news to the American homefront:

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Here is the speech given by General Douglas MacArthur, Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers in Japan, that I believe deserves to be remembered today, as it still is relevant to the dangers facing Man:

Today the guns are silent. A great tragedy has ended. A great victory has been won….

As I look back upon the long, tortuous trail from those grim days of Bataan and Corregidor, when an entire world lived in fear, when democracy was on the defensive everywhere, when modern civilization trembled in the balance, I thank a merciful God that he has given us the faith, the courage and the power from which to mold victory. We have known the bitterness of defeat and the exultation of triumph, and from both we have learned there can be no turning back. We must go forward to preserve in peace what we won in war.

A new era is upon us. Even the lesson of victory itself brings with it profound concern, both for our future security and the survival of civilization. The destructiveness of the war potential, through progressive advances in scientific discovery, has in fact now reached a point which revises the traditional concepts of war.

Men since the beginning of time have sought peace…. Military alliances, balances of power, leagues of nations, all in turn failed, leaving the only path to be by way of the crucible of war. We have had our last chance. If we do not now devise some greater and more equitable system, Armageddon will be at our door. The problem basically is theological and involves a spiritual recrudescence and improvement of human character that will synchronize with our almost matchless advances in science, art, literature and all material and cultural development of the past two thousand years. It must be of the spirit if we are to save the flesh.

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  1. “The problem basically is theological and involves a spiritual recrudescence and improvement of human character that will synchronize with our almost matchless advances in science, art, literature and all material and cultural development of the past two thousand years. It must be of the spirit if we are to save the flesh.”

    What MacArthur wrote is very true, but as a civilization we have actually regressed in our spiritual development, with untold millions abandoning the faith and embracing a de facto paganism of the Molochian sort. We will wither as a people if this continues.

  2. When I see this I think of the young men who lost their lives in this war, and of those who knew and loved and missed them. What a terrible waste war is, but it will always be with us.

  3. War, at best, is a dirty business. John Stark, victor at Bennington, in extreme old age proposed this toast that reminds us of the only reason we should engage in it: “Live free or die: Death is not the worst of evils.” .

  4. When it comes to war, Marine Eugene B. Sledge said it best:

    “War is brutish, inglorious, and a terrible waste.

    Combat leaves an indelible mark on those who are forced to endure it. The only redeeming factors were my comrades’ incredible bravery and their devotion to each other. Marine Corps training taught us to kill efficiently and to try to survive. But it also taught us loyalty to each other – and love. That esprit de corps sustained us.

    Until the millennium arrives and countries cease trying to enslave others, it will be necessary to accept one’s responsibilities and to be willing to make sacrifices for one’s country — as my comrades did. As the troops used to say, “If the country is good enough to live in, it’s good enough to fight for.” With privilege goes responsibility.””

  5. Some, who have the privilege of having known, lived among, or more, having been raised, by men with outlooks such as Marine Eugene B. Sledge, John Stark, or Gen. Douglas MacArthur, must remember them, and always imagine their outlook on the nonsense of these days.