Wednesday, July 8, 2015

30. VE Day and Beyond

When victory over Germany was declared on VE Day, May 8, 1945, the Allies were still fighting Japan in the South Pacific. American troops in Europe now began training to be relocated to the Far East.

Local newspapers continued to carry stories of County residents who were missing, wounded and killed in action. On June 8, 1945, for example, the front page of the Gettysburg Times reported that Donald Little and Paul Tate were wounded and Robert Grissinger and Nesbur Brandt  were  killed.

More men and women would lose their lives as the war continued for more than two months before the Japanese surrendered.

Throughout the war, military units used the hills, fields and forests of the Gettysburg Battlefield for training exercises, and often visiting soldiers were   given an understanding of what actions led to victory in the conflict in 1863. Military convoys passing through Gettysburg were often given space on the Battlefield to rest before moving on to their new duty stations.

In addition to the war news, the June 8 issue of the Gettysburg Times also carried a story about  62 students who graduated from Lincoln School, and would enter Gettysburg High School in the fall. Nancy and I were among those who looked forward to our high school careers.

At Lincoln School, we had been “top dogs.” Now we would be freshman, the new kids on the block subject to intimidation and hazing by upperclassmen. On the bright side, we looked forward to new friends and new opportunities in sports, music and other extra curricular activities.

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