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Inside the Gates: 75th anniversary of WWII end commemorated at Pearl Harbor

‘We will never forget’: U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper highlights list of dignitaries on hand to thank and recognize World War II veterans
Published: Sep. 2, 2020 at 5:31 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - 75 years ago, On September 2nd, 1945, at 9:02 a.m. on the decks of the USS Missouri, The Japanese formally surrendered in a ceremony that put an end to World War II. Tuesday morning, on board the USS Missouri in Pearl Harbor, Hawai’i, a commemoration ceremony was held to mark the 75th anniversary of the end of WWII.

General of the Army Douglas MacArthur sign documents during the surrender ceremony aboard Missouri on 2 September 1945
General of the Army Douglas MacArthur sign documents during the surrender ceremony aboard Missouri on 2 September 1945(United States Navy)

“The war took the lives of so many on all sides,” Hawai’i Governor David Ige said. “Leaving a vacuum in the roles for those who could have been. Who should have been, our scientists, teachers, community leaders, farmers and shop keepes.”

Due to COVID-19 the ceremony was drastically scaled back with many veterans and dignitaries attending virtually. With Governor Ige in attendance was U.S. Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark Esper.

“These intrepid patriots stood arm in arm, shoulder to shoulder with our allies, determined to achieve total victory no matter how long it took.,” Esper said.

Local WWII Veterans in attendance were honored as well as many others via video.

“We tend to toss the label hero around freely these days,” Ige said. “But these veterans truly exemplify the strictest definition of heroic. Their actions stand up to the rigid test of the heroic. Their lives set an example for all of us to follow. ”

The ceremony was held on the battleship’s fantail, with a view of Pearl Harbor. The site where on December 7th, 1941, Japan sprung a surprise attack on the United States, thrusting our nation into World War II.

“I would like to extend a very special welcome to the members of the greatest generation here with us this morning,” Esper said. “Who’s remarkable stories of courage and heroism are forever etched into our nation’s heart and history. It is because of your selfless service, and your sacrifice that we live in peace and prosperity today and it is your legacy that inspires us to uphold the freedoms and values in which you so nobly fought. Thank you all very much

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