tv Victory Over Japan Day Commemoration CSPAN September 7, 2015 9:00pm-9:54pm EDT
bring about freedom. and we remember the surrender that brought about a culmination to that tragic chapter in history. may in our remembrance we take hope that justice will come and must at times be brought to bear through conflict. for those whom we stand on the shoulders who made this nation great, we give thanks. for those who still have hurts and pains of this chapter of war, and other wars, we ask for peace in their being. and we besiege you oh god to help all of us strive for a better world and diligently work for greatness in our own land. our country has been truly blessed by you o god and has
been a shining city on a hill for justice, care, compassion and right in the world. help us keep our shining city bright. in your holy name i pray, amen. >> please be seated. it's going to be very hot today and i would urge you all to drink plenty of water. you world war ii veterans, you can drink anything you want. i'm so pleased to be here today and especially on this day where we commemorate v-j day. it is a special day for our country. a day set aside by president truman. it is also a day when we can celebrate the unity and spirit when the american people came
together with our allies, some of whom are with us today. and we can celebrate the unity and the spirit that has allowed us to turn our former enemies into our allies and friends. we are privileged to have with us today the united states navy band who will perform a musical patriotic salute for our veterans. ♪ ♪
exeveryonery efforts to maintain the world war ii memorial and bring honor to the greatest generation. the friends of memorial are pleased to partner with the national park service to observe the legacy of the memorial and to co-host these special commemorative events. representing the park service is superintendent of the national mall and memorial parks ms. karen cucurullo. [ applause ] >> good morning. hello, gentlemen. on behalf of the national parks service, my pleasure to welcome you to the world war ii memorial as we mark the 70th anniversary of the victory over japan which effectively brought to a close, the costliest conflict in american history. and i would like to remind us it
has been 70 years of peace between our two countries. the world war ii memorial recognizes those who served in all theaters of the war, honors those who fell and recognizes the victory they achieved to restore freedom and end tear any around the globe ap as we begin today's ceremony, i would like to thank and recognize mr. joshua bunting. he's the chairman of the friends of the world war ii memorial and co-sponsor of this morning's ceremony. national parks service thanks you in partnering and we share in your mission to ensure that the legacy and sacrifices of all world war ii veterans are not forgotten. and it is truly my pleasure and privilege to welcome former senator majority leader bob
dole. [ applause ] a long time support are of veterans and to this memorial. frequently you would see him at the memorial and it's our pleasure having him here. he's a three-time decorated for bravery and sacrifice in combat during world war ii. senator dole served as chairman of the narnl campaign that raised private contributions that largely funded the construction of the world war ii memorial. to all of the members of our armed forces and veterans who are here, thank you. thank you for your service. and we honor -- we're honored by your presence. and this morning at this memorial, boy it is a hot day but surely you came because it means a lot to you and it means a lot to the national park service that you are here. there is no tribute, no komen ration, no honor that could
truly recognize the magnitude of your service and your sacrifice and really the sacrifice of your families. at the surrender ceremony aboard the uss missouri on september 2nd, 1945, 70 years ago today, general douglas macarthur said it is my earnest hope, indeed the hope of all man kind that from the solemn occasion, a better world shall emerge out of the blood and cartridge of the past. a world found upon faith and understanding. a world dedicated to the dignity of man and the fulfillment of his cherished wish for freedom, tolerance and justice. and the world is still struggling to achieve universal peace to this day and understanding, here in lies the
nation's sacred memorials. these places are merely granite and marble reminders of the dee deeds, they reminded us of people with otherwise ordinary lives. they help us understand the monumental trials and sacrifices that have shaped our nation, our government and society. and they remind us of what we can achieve when we work together as a nation. the national parks service is proud to be a steward of this legacy. and i promise you that we will be here every day of every year watching over this place to keep it, to protect it, to pass along the stories of heroism and sacrifice to future generations of americans. for it's simply not just a memorial as we preserve, u a
birthright as a nation purchased a at an unimaginable cost and one that we will care for with all of the rev rans and demands. i would like to point out or park rangers who come here every day to care for this and talk to the visitors. and our volunteers, you'll see them with the yellow caps and the yellow shirts. they're here, too, because they're dedicated to this memorial. i would also like to thank the maintenance crew, all of the people that come here and really, really want to do a terrific job for those that come here and experience this memorial. thank you very much. [ applause ] >> thank you, karen. here with us today to represent the ceremony's co-host is the chairman of the board for the friends of the national world war ii memorial, and my fellow
allies during the second world war was winston church hill. he constantly said succeeding generations must not be allowed to forget your service and your sacrifice. many of us here today are children, your children and grandchildren and friends. i am concerned about american students who are now in school and high school and college. help me, all of us, let us commit ourselves to renewing their interest in and knowledge of your sacrifice. we are proud to salute you on this glorious day. thank you. [ applause ] >> thank you. today we mark the 70th anniversary of the end of the
asian pacific phase of the second world war. the surrender ceremony towered political theater of the highest order in a complex weave of avert and subtle symbolism. the setting was to tokyo bay. this completed a circle of four years duration which mirrored a setting also in the great bay on the decks of a warship when the vice president and winston church hill committed their highest principle to the charter. japan's final decision to sur vendor would occur four years later to the day from the declaration of the atlantic charter to the public. the battleship missouri represented one product of the the democracy. the missouri merged both striking lines that fused
elegance and power. internally she boasted advanced engineering and state of the art electronics. both of these sparkling as american fortes. as we come to a closeup of the scene, a piece of subtle important symbolism comes into focus. the german surrendered in may 1945, transferred to a school building literally in the middle of the night. those of rank and prestige dominated the dimly lit hall with an invisible contingent of citizens in uniform present. the supreme allied commander dwight d. eisenhower who was still reeling in revulgs over the scenes he had witnessed refused to attend. the scene on tokyo bay provided a staggering contrast. it was daylight, teaming with
258 warships. unseemingly every available overlook aboard the missouri clustered citizen sailors in their whites, the proud representatives of all of those citizens in downform who carried the battle to the face of the enemy and paid the highest price. they were there by right. a table rest on the veranda deck. its trio of barrels raised in salute, not menace. it was a simple mess table covered with a green blaze cover, an expression of the american pension for utility over ornate formality. as befitting the fact that the u.s. had not fought alone, high ranking officers from her allies dock pied a prominent position facing the table, representatives from china, from britain, the soviet union,
australia, canada, france, the neter land and new zealand. they stood out in their formal uniforms with neatly disciplined ties and high button collars. they wore guilty badges of rank and decorations. scores of american officers of all services stood in lose ranks facing the table from the inboard side. they all sported open collar khaki uniforms bearing minimal insignia of rank. this minimal attire sign posted the future. on the missouri named for harry s. truman's home state, a glass case rested near the table. it contained the flag flown by come man door matthew perry. from the missouri's main mast flew the very flag that flew over the u.s. capitol on
december 7th, 1941. this was the dawn of a new era. once the japanese delegation arrived at 8:56 a.m., douglas macarthur strode out to a battery of microphones behind the simple table. standen 0 the other side of macarthur were general ron wayne right and lieutenant general arthur persable who had surrendered at singapore. both endured over three years of japanese captivity. their visibly wasted appearance kpemp fied some of the worse facets of the war. macarthur would deliver one of the greatest iterations of the world war ii. all of them connected to the asia pacific, not to europe. the first was on december 8,
1941. roosevelt has paralleled lincoln's gettysburg address for brevity as well as memorable cadence and phrasing. the second speech was a sermon by rabbi at the dedication of a marine cemetery. he had looked down on the black volcanic ash housing the remains of his comrades and friends and he said, here lie officers and men, negros and whites, rich men and poor together. here are protestants, catholics and jews together. here no man prefers another because of his faith or despises him because of his color. near there are no quotas for how many of each group are admitted or allowed. among these men there is no discrimination, no prejudices. theirs is the highest and purest
democracy. macarthur grasp in his slightly trembling hands a sheathe of papers that bore words crafted by those of roosevelt, words of his own mind alone. and from macarthur's form voice rolled the words, we're gathered here, representatives of the major warring power to conclude a solemn agreement whereby piece may be restored. the issues involving the etiologies have been determined on the battlefields and are not for discussion or debate. nor is it here for us to meet, representing a majority of the people of the earth in a spirit of distrust, malice or hatred. rather it is for us, both victors and vanquished to rise to the higher dignity, committing all of our people
unreserve edly to faithful compliance with the understanding they are here to resume. it is my earnest hope and the hope of all mankind that from many solemn occasion, a better world shall emerge out of the blood and carnage of the past, a world dedicated to the dignity of man and the fulfillment of his most cherished wishes for freedom, tolerance and justice. he summoned the representatives japan forward to sign the instrument of surrender. at 9:25 a.m. mcarthur declared, let us pray that peace now be restored and god will preserve it always. then facing the japanese delegation he intoned, these proceedings are now closed. a massive fly by had been
choreographed to punk wait the end of the ceremony. but until that moment, the skies had forbidden execution. but at the end of the ceremony, the clouds parted. under fresh sunlight, 450 carrier planes sounded a final deafening benediction. and a blessing was in order. by a conservative count it had killed 25 million human beings. about 3 million were chinese and 2 million were japanese. that means that 19 million noncombatants had died. that's a ratio of three to one, which is higher than the awful arithmetic of horror in europe. one million were japanese who died for all causes.
17 or 18 other noncombatants had died, two-thirds of them chinese. facts like this are totally unknown today, speaks ill of our historic memory. but the so shay pacific phase of the world shaped the 20th century than its european counter part. as macarthur would report, it was from that basin of emancipated world that the nations of china, of india, of japan, of the philippines, of singapore would rise to the position they hold today. all of them to the position of the events of this world. so it's totally appropriate that we should commemorate this day and this event and remember the sacrifices of those who came before us. and above all, that we should never, never forget the cost.
♪ [ applause ] >> thank you. thank you very much. it is now my great honor to introduce a world war ii veteran, a former senator from kansas, bob dole. he's recognized as one of our nation's powerful political figures with a distinguished service that's made a difference for america. he's a decorated and wounded veteran of world war ii as a platoon leader. he was gravely wounded on the battlefield in italy and was
would just stand if you can. look at that. yeah. [ applause ] well, i'm one of those older guys, i can't hear, i can't -- well, i can talk, but i can't hear, can't walk too well, but be in otherwise, i'm in great shape. can't see either. so i haven't heard a thing that anybody has said. so if i repeat something, why, let me know. i thought this would be a good place to announce my candidacy for president. [ cheers & applause ] some people thought i would wait until i got a little older, but, anyway, i still want a recount. but that probably won't happen.
well i'm a proud world war ii veteran. there for 16.5 million of us who served in world war ii and now we're down to about 850,000. and we lose about 600 every day. so we are really the disappearing generation. and this memorial is a great tribute, and it should have been built 30, 40 years ago. but we finally decided if congress wasn't going to move, we would just raise the money privately. and congress did appropriate, i think, about 16 million, and we raised privately over 170 million from people like you all across the line.
[ applause ] and this is now the most visited memorial in d.c. and they have a program called honor flight, which some of the world war ii veterans in the audience are familiar with. but the program brings veterans, let's say, from sacramento, and they come with a guard in, make certain they don't fall or whatever or jump in the water. and it's no cost to the veteran. so if your dad or grand dad haven't been here to see the memorial, starting in september it's going to be a little cooler. if anybody is cold i'd be happy to loan you my coat for a while. but i don't think anybody is cold. but i come out every saturday and i've met thousands and thousands of world war ii,
korean and vietnam veterans and some afghanistan and iraqi veterans. so it's a wonderful opportunity to celebrate with all of these distinguished people v-j day. i was in italy, so we ended the war may the 8th. trouble is i was wounded on april 14th. roosevelt died on april the 12th. and we were all young 19, 20-year-olds and we were all sad and in tears because he was our commander in chief and we weren't in to politics. so we delayed our push to get the germans out of italy. and i was second lieutenant and they were kind of expendable in those days. and i replaced a young man who
had been killed. and then i tried to save my radio man. and when i went out to pull him into the ravine, some german gave me a shot that kept me hospitalized for about three years. but what i want to say is it's the greatest country on the face of the earth. and we shouldn't forget it. [ applause ] and if you think about world war ii, can you imagine what would have happened had we lost, what language we would be speaking, whether woe would have any freedom or the liberty that we enjoy today? and i worry sometimes that young people don't hear much about history anymore.
and many of them come to the world war ii memorial with their fathers or their grandfathers and it's a great history lesson to look at the atlantic and the pacific where we were victorious in both places. germany is now a great ally and so is japan. though i've never understood why the japanese murdered 100 surrendered. but now they're our friends and we have many friends that were introduced earlier from taiwan and from australia and new zealand. philippines. i don't remember the other seven or eight countries. we were all in this together. this was a world war. and it was against -- europe and
of course nazi teyranny. and he had his eyes on the united states. and fortunately with other allies, we, well, americans were able to be victorious under the leadership of the great general dwight d. eisenhower, another fellow can san. what i'm going to start doing in two weeks is to raise money privately for anizer hour memorial. 16 years ago congress authorized the memorial and it's been held up because one of the grandchildren, they don't like the design. but we're not build it for the grandchildren. we've changed the design seven
times. and a few members of congress, i must say, unfortunately they're republicans, are holding up any congressional funding. and i don't think ike would like taxpayers building a memorial to him anyway. we're going to go out and raise the money. i would take some today if somebody has $1 billion dollars. i'll take it ach the ceremony. we wanted to get the construction started now so that some of us older guys, probably won't be many left, could be there for the dedication. and i'm looking forward to it, but it's going to take three years to build it. and when they say three, it's probably four. so, you know, i'll be getting up there in age. i'll be 96 in four years.
so that's my -- i'm a volunteer and that's what i hope to do with a lot of help from a lot of people, to honor one of america's greatest men in history, dwight david eisenhower. [ applause ] and i would just mention one other great american, harry truman. you know, he made, he made the toughest decision of any president in modern history when he decided to drop the bombs in nagasaki and hiroshima. and you know, that was a tough decision to make. but the historians here today,
mr. frank and others probably know better than i, but i think that thought if we didn't do something drastic we would lose about 250,000 more americans and the japanese would lose about the same number if we kept fighting back and forth. and it was a terrible thing with a lot of innocent people, thousands killed. but it brought an end to the war and now japan is one of ou key allies and we get along well. it just shows how you can have your differences, maybe some of you in the audience sometime had a difference with your wife or somebody. generally the wife has the difference with the husband. but anyway, it's all worked out for the best. so i'm here today not in any
special category except i'm a veteran, i'm proud of it. it changed my life in italy. but i met a lot of wonderful people in italy. i'm going to go back there in october to make one last visit up to hill 913 where i was wounded. and there's a little plaque on the tree up there that says lieutenant dole was wounded here on whatever date, april 14, 1945. so i'll be able to -- most of my friends in that little village have passed away but this's still one or two left. but i want to thank you for coming on a very hot day. i want to thank the friends of the world war ii memorial for hosting this event. it's a wonderful event. the weather is not the best, but, you know, we can tolerate
that for, if i stop talking, and we can honor those who honored us. and you're looking right across at the gold stars which represent 405,000 americans who were killed in world war ii. 136, i think, in the pacific, and 186 in europe, thousand, that is, and the rest i think were other casualties around the world to make 405,000. some were training accidents and those kind of things that happen. but thank you all for coming. thanks for remembering v-j day and what it means as far as freedom and liberty for you and your children and your friends.
it means a lot. we love liberty and freedom. we are the greatest nation on the face of the earth. and we need to make certain we keep it that way. i worry about putin. i think he's got his eyes on a lot of things. but i have confidence that if the need arises we'll, we'll meet our challenge. thank you very much. you know, when former senators speak, you can't get them to speak. that's sort of the way it was when i was in the senate. but we did speak to each other in those days. thank you very much. and have a good day. [ applause ]
>> thank you, senator dole. let me just insert one other thing, since senator dole has brought up senator truman. although we think of him and talk of him in terms of his decisions he made at the end of world war i, he made another decision that i'd like for you to carry forward from today to remember. when we arrived in japan as the occupying power, we very shortly learned that japan's leaders had left the nation on a trajectory to a mass familiar minute in 1946. japanese historians report that as many as 10 million japanese of a population of 72 million were in danger of starving to death in 1946. i don't have to tell you that we had just fought a very long, a very bitter war with the empire
of japan. but in 1946 general macarthur urged and president truman approved the dispatch of 700,000 tons of american food aid to japan. it was the critical difference between japan being catapulted into a disastrous familiar minute that would have killed countless millions and inflicted developmental defect ons a generation of japanese children. when we think about mr. truman, i would like for you to remember that decision of mr. truman's also. [ applause ] it is now my privilege to introduce our final speaker, retired army major general john hurling. he had more than 30 years of active service, a native of auburn, new york.
i can claim no association with new york, i'm afraid, except my wife. he holds a master of science degree in public administration, a bachelor of science degree from the university of scranton. his military schools include the elite army war college, commander general staff college, basic and advanced courses and the awards include the army distinguished service medal, the silver starmed dal, legion of oak, bronze medal with two oak leaf clusters. general hurling was appointed by president clinton to serve as the secretary of the battlefield. and with his ten years with the commission he oversaw the effort to build and fund the national world war ii memorial where we gather here today.
it is my pleasure to welcome major general hurling. [ applause ] >> senator dole, superintendent cucurullo, mr. bunting, our distinguished representatives from the allied nations, a special welcome to all of our world war ii veterans this morning. [ applause ] any holocaust survivors that may be with us, and to our veterans of other wars. and we have a special group in from houston, an honor flight that came in from houston today, and welcome to you all. [ applause ]
i would tell you it's a bit frightening to sit here and listen to the previous speakers talk about all of the things that you had planned to talk about. but let me try to fill in the blanks. world war ii was the most significant event in the 20th century. and let me put it in the words of a famous british historian by the name of john keegan. keegan said the second world war is the largest single event in human history. fought across six of the seven world continents and all of the world's oceans. it killed 50 million human beings, left hundreds of millions wounded in mind and body, and devastated much of the
heartland of civilization. now if you can just keep that in your mind for a minute. we're here today to celebrate the end of that great war. in europe, world war ii began in september of 1939 with the german invasion of poland. it ended on may 8th, 1945 with the surrender to the allied powers europe. ve-day was a part of history. in the pacific, the war would go on for three more months. it had been almost four years since the attack on pearl harbor. four years of rebuilding,
training, planning and operating across the vast expanse of the pacific ocean. four years of historic naval battles, the pacific ocean. and suffering casualties in the hundreds of thousands. on august 15, 1945, the japanese emperor accepted the provisions of the potsdam declaration, which called for japan's unconditional surrender. the war in the pacific was over. 70 years ago today at 8:00 in the morning, admiral chest er
nemetz boarded, followed at 8:43 by general of the army douglas mcarthur. the japanese representatives arrived at 8:56. at 9:02, general mcarthur stepped before a battery of microphones and opened the 23-minute surrender ceremony. you heard the superintendent's comment on general mcarthur's remarks. general mcarthur, after his brief remarks, they sat and signed the surrender documents. and world war ii was officially over. president truman declared that the formal surrender of johnson
on 2 september 1945 would be designated at vj-day. this beautiful world war ii memorial honors the 16 million men and women who served in uniform, the over 400,000 that died and the millions of americans who supported the war effort here at home. it com it commemorates the participation of the entire nation in that war, and it also serves as a lasting tribute to the spirit, the sacrifice and commitment of the american people, the defense of the nation and the broader cause of peace and freedom throughout the world. to our world war ii veterans, those present and those unable to join us today and to all who supported on the home front, we
can only say thank you for your service to our great country. god bless you and you god bless america. [ applause ] >> you're watching american history tv, 48 hours of history tv on cspan3. >> she lived in california and the migrant mother picture is probably the most famous of the ones that dorothea lange produced. she was now the california documenting pea picking in march 1936. the weather was bad, the crops had frozen, people were not able to pick the damaged goods so they were living on what little money they