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On This Day: V-E Day marks end of WWII in Europe



WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) – May 8, 1945 is a date that represents one reason why those who fought for the United States in World War II are part of “The Greatest Generation.”

Celebrations ensued around the world as U.S. Allied forces celebrated Victory in Europe Day, or V-E day, marking the end of World War II in Europe. The outcome seemed secured after the invasion of the beaches of Normandy, France, on June 6, 1944, for a major Allied victory on D-Day.

Tens of thousands of people reveled in the news on the streets of New York, New Orleans, London, Canada, Australia and other Allied nations. There was also a huge gathering in France, where U.S. forces joined the celebration. While they celebrated, they surely reflected on the toll the war took — tens of millions of people were killed, including six million Jewish people in the Holocaust. About 250,000 U.S. troops were killed fighting in Europe.

There was still work left to do after victory in Europe. The war in the Pacific continued until September, when Japan surrendered about a month after the U.S. dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. During a war in which several dates lived in infamy, May 8, 1945 was finally a reason to bask in triumph.

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