"The western world has been freed of the evil forces which for five years and longer have imprisoned the bodies and broken the lives of millions upon millions of free-born men... Our Armies of Liberation have restored freedom to these suffering peoples, whose spirit and will the oppressors could never enslave. ... I call upon the people of the United States, whatever their faith, to unite in offering joyful thanks to God for the victory we have won and to pray that He will support us to the end of our present struggle and guide us into the ways of peace. I also call upon my countrymen to dedicate this day of prayer to the memory of those who have given their lives to make possible our victory. ..."
After nearly six years of conflict across the European continent, President Truman was pleased to announce that Germany had surrendered to the Allies. Though Japan would fight on for another three months, Truman read this proclamation at a news conference held in his office at the White House at 8:35 A.M. on Tuesday, May 8, 1945. Before reading the proclamation, President Truman said, “This is a solemn but glorious hour. General Eisenhower informs me that the forces of Germany have surrendered to the United Nations. The flags of freedom fly all over Europe. It’s celebrating my birthday, too—today, too.” May 8, 1945 was President Truman’s 61st birthday, his first as President following the death of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
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