Victory in Europe Day (also known as V-E Day) occurred on May 8, 1945. Below is a proclamation for a day of prayer and thanksgiving issued by President Harry S. Truman in response to the unconditional surrender of the German troops, which effectively ended the war in Europe.
Bulletin WAR DEPARTMENT
No. 6 Washington 25, D.C., May 9 1945
PROCLAMATION OF THE PRESIDENT – VICTOR IN EUROPE; DAY OF PRAYER.–The following proclamation for the President (No. 2651) is published for the information and guidance of all concerned:
[VICTORY IN EUROPE; 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.
Done at the City of Washington this eighth day of May in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and forty-five and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and sixty-ninth. [SEAL]
Joseph C. Grew,
Acting Secretary of State.
By order of the Secretary of War:
Chief of staff
The Adjutant General
AGO 178B-May 637202 ͦ –45