Victory in Europe Day

The Veterans Land Board (VLB) celebrates today, May 8, as the 77th anniversary of V-E Day, or Victory in Europe Day. While we have only a few of our WWII veterans still with us, it is important to remember the excitement and the general happiness caused by the announcement that after almost five years of war in Europe, the fighting was done. The Nazis had surrendered.

The United States and the United Kingdom both celebrate May 8 as the date for V-E Day as the head of the German Army signed an armistice on that date. However, the Soviets, for their own reasons, chose May 9 as their Victory Day.

People everywhere listened as U.S. President Harry Truman spoke on the radio, sharing the good news but also cautioning the American people not to forget Pearl Harbor and that the war in the Pacific was not over. However, that could not dampen the laughter, hugs and shouts that erupted from the crowds of thousands gathered in every major city worldwide.

The soldiers had various experiences on V-E Day, and many of them knew this war was far from over as they faced the idea of being sent to the Pacific Theater from now-defeated Germany.

The following are quotes from those who fought in World War II about Victory in Europe (V-E) Day and can be found on the Voices of Veterans section of the VLB website.

Melvin Adams: “Well yeah, it made you happy, but we was fixin’ to go to Japan, and that didn’t make you happy either.”

Viggo Gruy: “…then on the 8th, I think the 8th of May was what they determined to be VE Day, but before that and the thing that has always stuck in my mind about the end of that war was the lights. The lights came on. We had been, ever since we’d gotten to England, we hadn’t seen any lights. I mean you didn’t drive with lights, you didn’t use flashlights, a lot of infrared coming on. It was quite a sight to see people turn their lights on.”

Chris Zaiontz: “Well, we’s getting ready to go make an attack on Japan when that war was over. We were getting ready.”

Arthur Hill: “Okay, well, then we were told to be ready…Anyway, we were told that the Germans were coming towards us to surrender. Well, I’m out on this roadblock with another man, and this whole German tank outfit’s coming down the road, and I thought, “Boy, this is it. We’re gonna get killed sure as hell.” But they’re coming to surrender. They had their families with ’em…They were fully armed and everything else. And here we were a small company, and they had their families with ’em, women and children.”

Leo Borel: “Well, Europe, I didn’t get too much excited over it…We were still leaving men from Europe all the way to Japan, getting ready for that.”

The VLB salutes all these heroes and their actions during WWII, and celebrates the anniversary of Victory in Europe Day.

The VLB is happy to provide any needed help for these American heroes. The mission for the VLB is “to ensure that we offer the very best package of Veterans benefits in the country and those of us who work for the VLB strive to meet those goals every day. For more than 70 years, we have had the honor to serve Veterans, Military Members and their families in Texas, and we look forward to keeping that promise in the years to come.” Call 1–800–252–8387, email VLBinfo@glo.texas.gov, or visit vlb.texas.gov to see the different benefits available.

If you are a Veteran, thank you for your service. Click Here to Sign Up to stay informed on your benefits with the Texas Veterans Land Board.

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A blog for the Texas Veterans Land Board that provides in-depth information on benefits, programs and resources for Veterans, military members and their families in Texas.

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