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Today, let us remember those who served nation

One wonders how many Americans know the significance of today. It is the 75th anniversary of Victory over Japan, or V-J Day — and the end of the most horrific conflict the world has ever seen.

Though Japan’s surrender was announced on Aug. 14, 1945, the official observance in this country was set at Sept. 2. It was that day that Japanese and Allied dignitaries signed documents that officially ended the hostilities.

For many years, V-J Day has been an occasion for soul-searching among many Americans. Some contend the United States never should have used atomic bombs on the populations of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Few veterans of World War II seem to agree with that. They understand that had the bombs not been dropped, there was a high probability they might have to invade Japan. U.S. military planners had studied how that might occur. They estimated it would cost the lives of as many as 800,000 Americans.

In addition, it was known that Japanese officials had prepared their population for fierce resistance to an invasion. It was estimated that had Allied forces landed in Japan, between 5 million and 10 million Japanese would have perished.

But the debate will go on, perhaps for hundreds of years.

In contrast, our opportunities to thank the brave men and women who fought in World War II are limited. More than 16 million of them were in the military during the war. Now, it is estimated fewer than 300,000 of them remain among us. This V-J Day, then, let us all express our heartfelt gratitude to them once again.

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