Museum to host V-J Day program Aug. 15

By: Brian Louwers | C&G Newspapers | Published August 7, 2015

ST. CLAIR SHORES — The Detroit Arsenal of Democracy Museum in St. Clair Shores will remember the final end of World War II on Aug. 15 with an event showcasing rare photographs, artifacts and a chance to meet veterans who fought in the Pacific.

“It was the end of the greatest conflict in world history,” Museum Director John Lind said. “We’re going to honor veterans who participated and humbly ask them to tell their stories.”

The museum’s special program, coinciding with the 70th anniversary of V-J Day, will begin at noon with a presentation by museum staff. A collection of rare photographs provided by metro Detroit veterans who fought in the Pacific will be displayed, followed by a chance to hear firsthand accounts from veterans who were there fighting on land, sea and air.

Lind said all World War II veterans are invited to attend the program.

“We’re going to have a Marine Corps Jeep, a Marine Corps display of artifacts. We’re going to have uniforms from the Pacific, and the veterans, of course — they’re the best,” Lind said. “This will be the world premiere of some never-before-seen photographs out of veterans’ private collections.”

Imperial Japanese forces accepted the terms of unconditional surrender Aug. 14, 1945, and V-J Day was celebrated worldwide Aug. 15. The surrender came after atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima on Aug. 6 and Nagasaki on Aug. 9, killing an estimated 100,000 people.

The formal Japanese surrender was signed on the deck of the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay on Sept, 2, 1945.

“V-J Day is a day to remember the end of World War II in the Pacific, and it came at a great cost,” Museum Historian James Bertolino said. “Luckily, we have veterans in our area that survived and can share their stories so others can learn and understand what these men and women went through for peace.”

Admission for the program is a $5 donation to the museum. World War II veterans always attend for free.

The Detroit Arsenal of Democracy Museum is located at 22960 W. Industrial Drive in St. Clair Shores. For more information, call (586) 604-5393 or visit www.detroitarsenalofdemocracy.org.