Aug. 15, 1945 should be remembered by all. VJ Day means victory over Japan, for all of you young people. I was 6 years old and listening to “The Lone Ranger” on the radio. They cut “The Lone Ranger” off and started saying, “The war is over! The war is over!” No more Lone Ranger.
I went outside and told Mother, who was hanging a sheet on the clothesline (solar dryer, for you youngsters). She ran into the house and started listening to the radio and turned the volume up. “You will wake up Daddy,” I told Mom.
She jumped up and went to the bedroom and woke up Dad. We were so happy! Daddy got dressed. He worked at Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. building liners for aircraft fuel tanks and had worked the previous night.
Trains started to blow their steam whistles, the cotton mill’s, steel plant’s, Goodyear’s and other steam whistles answered back over and over.
I heard some horses coming up the road and ran out to see. Soldiers were mounted on cavalry horses and had cantered them from Camp Sibert about six or seven miles away. They stopped and tightened the girds on their saddles.
The horses were wet with sweat and needed a rest. The soldiers were going to town — Gadsden, Ala. — to celebrate. One soldier had Dad lift me up behind him and hold his belt and gave me a ride for about two blocks. He put me down and I ran back home.
The family loaded up in the 1941 Plymouth and went up town to join the celebration. People were dragging tin cans behind their cars, blowing car horns and shouting. People were dancing and hugging and kissing each other. I saw a soldier drinking out of a whiskey bottle near a cop. “Daddy, he will get in trouble.”
Not that day. The soldier gave the cop a drink right in front of everyone. No problem on VJ Day.
If you know a World War II vet, go and thank him for your freedom.