V-E (Victory in Europe) Day was celebrated around the world on May 8, 1945. One day earlier, German forces unconditionally surrendered to the Allies, thus signaling the end of fighting in Europe. (The Allies, however, would continue fighting against Japanese forces for an additional 3 months.) President Harry Truman addressed the nation on the occasion and read his proclamation calling for a day of prayer.
By the President of the United States of America
The Allied armies, through sacrifice and devotion and with God’s help, have wrung from Germany a final and unconditional surrender.
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. They have violated their churches, destroyed their homes, corrupted their children, and murdered their loved ones. Our Armies of Liberation have restored freedom to these suffering peoples, whose spirit and will the oppressors could never enslave.
Much remains to be done. The victory won in the West must now be won in the East. The whole world must be cleansed of the evil from which half the world has been freed. United, the peace-loving nations have demonstrated in the West that their arms are stronger by far than the might of dictators or the tyranny of military cliques that once called us soft and weak.
The power of our people to defend themselves against all enemies will be proved in the Pacific war as it has been proved in Europe.
For the triumph of spirit and of arms which we have won, and for its promise to peoples everywhere who join us in the love of freedom, it is fitting that we, as a nation, give thanks to Almighty God, who has strengthened us and given us the victory.
Now, Therefore, I, Harry S. Truman, President of the United States of America, do hereby appoint Sunday, May 13, 1945, to be a day of prayer.
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 way 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.
In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States of America to be affixed.
Washington, D.C. May 8, 1945