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CBS Radio – Reports on Surrender Ceremonies – September 1, 1945 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
And even though the process of disarming and returning to peace was going to take a little time, that book was closed and a new one was about to start.
Early Sunday morning on September 2, 1945, aboard the new 45,000-ton battleship U.S.S. Missouri and before representatives of nine Allied nations, the Japanese signed their surrender. At the ceremonies, General MacArthur stated that the Japanese and their conquerors did not meet “in a spirit of mistrust, malice or hatred but rather, it is for us, both victors and vanquished, to rise to that higher dignity which alone benefits the sacred purposes we are about to serve.”
Despite these words, none of the Japanese delegates were saluted by any of the high-ranking officers. Gen. Carl A. Spaatz later revealed that U.S. planes had been ready with bombs to halt any last-minute treacherous act on the part of the Japanese. Seeing a deckful of high Allied officers on the U.S.S. Missouri might have presented a tempting target for a final suicide attack.
Even as the surrender ceremonies were taking place, questions started being asked about the world as it stood in 1945. What was the role the Atomic Bomb going to take in all this? What would the Far East look like in the coming months/years?
Now that one, seemingly endless, story of war was over, the unsettling feeling that, maybe this might all happen again was surfacing.
But those were all questions which wouldn’t be answered on this day – this September 1, 1945 was the end of a long and brutal war – and a chance at a lasting peace, no matter how fleeting in the long run, seemed like a good thing to work for.
Here is an excerpt and a recap of the days activities, as reported by CBS World News on September 1, 1945.
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