Commemorating VE Day with the Smithsonian

By Jennifer Albers-Smith

This Friday marks the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe (VE) day.

My grandpa was hardly more than a boy when his brother (my great-uncle) was shipped off to fight in WWII. He enlisted in the navy and served as a fireman aboard the U.S.S. St. Lo. On October 25, 1944, his ship was hit by a Kamikaze, and he went down with the ship.

I recently asked my grandpa if he still remembered his brother all these years later, and he started to cry. He says it’s like no time has passed at all. He still remembers the telegram sent to his parents letting them know their son had been declared missing in action. He remembers the telegram that arrived a couple months later to officially declare his death, and the letter from one of his shipmates remembering the great man my great-uncle was.

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