It’s Finally Over –65 years later

Saturday there was a huge kiss-in in Times Square to commemorate the 65 anniversary of V-J Day which marked the end of WWII.  Couples came to the famous spot and recreated this special kiss seen below.  The kiss not only marked the end of the war with Japan but also signified the end of all hostilities in WWII since victory had been achieved in Europe several months early with the surrender of Germany. 


Perhaps the most famous picture of the end of The War, The Kiss, offers a glimpse into a world that the rest of us are closed off to.  It was a world that believed that total surrender was possible.  It was a world that didn’t know what an atomic blast did to others, And it was a world that knew nothing of the cold war that loomed on our horizon.  It was a world where the word ‘over’ meant OVER.

The lady in the kiss was Edith Shain who died at the age of 91 last June.  The couple didn’t know each other.  It was kiss to celebrate the past 4 years being over. Done.  The American people had suffered.  They had been rationed.  They had grown victory gardens.  They had done without.  They had lived with the constant fear that they could be invaded.  Their loved ones had been lost, maimed, killed. 

Approximately 417,000 American service men (and women) were killed in WWII.  That number is out of a national population of approximately 131 million.  


While our number killed looks staggering, other countries dwarf ours.  Japan lost over 2 million military men.  China 3-4 million.  The Soviet Union  lost as many as 10 million.  German lost 5.5 million.  After watching series like Pacific,  Flags of our Fathers and Wind Talkers  it is truly amazing that anyone survived.  There were 20,00 Americans casualties  in the battle of Iwo Jima alone which just looked like a rock pile to most folks.

A permanent statue 25 feet tall  of the kiss was erected in Times Square.  There are just some things that cannot be recreated.  And there will probably never be another time when Americans pull together towards a common cause like WWII.

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Post Nuclear World-65 years after Nagasaki

65 years to the day after the bombing of Nagasaki on August 9, 1945, one has to ask still, why the Japanese clung so tenaciously to non-surrender, especially after such devastating military losses, fire-bombings of Tokyo and other large cities, and a nuclear blast that flattened Hiroshima 3 days earlier. 

Japan had a figure head emperor but had been slowly taken over by a military government.  The people were far removed and had been convinced that they must fight hand to hand, if necessary, to the death to protect their homeland and the Emperor.  Until the surrender, the Japanese people had never heard their Emperor’s voice. 

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New Jersey WWII Hero Inspires Hollywood Epic

Reminder:  “The Pacific” begins tonight @ 9:00 HBO.

A personal piece on people you will meet during the viewing of ‘The Pacific.’

What a wonderful tribute!

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His brother  and the town must be very proud.  What a wonderful way to honor all those who have served from that town in New Jersey.

Amazing Talent Captures National Tragedy

Today a friend sent me an amazing email with a video link.   I felt it related to many of our topics we have been discussing here on Anti.  I am going to cut and paste Nancy’s (or whoever she copied them from) words and then post the link.  The woman shown in the video  is a sand artist.  The rest tells the story:

Please read the following paragraphs all the way through and then view the video…

This video shows the winner of “Ukraine’s Got Talent,” Kseniya Simonova, 24, drawing a series of pictures on an illuminated sand table showing how ordinary people were affected by the German invasion during World War II.  Her talent, which admittedly is a strange one, is mesmeric to watch.

The images, projected onto a large screen, moved many in the audience to tears, and she won the top prize of about £75,000. 

She begins by creating a scene showing a couple, sitting holding hands on a bench under a starry  sky, but then warplanes appear, and the happy  scene is obliterated. 

It is replaced by a woman’s face crying, but then a baby arrives, and the woman smiles again. Once again, war returns, and Miss Simonova throws the sand into chaos from which a young woman’s face appears. 

She quickly becomes an old widow, her face wrinkled and sad, before the image turns into a monument to an Unknown Soldier. 

This outdoor scene becomes framed by a window as if the viewer is looking out on the monument from within a house. 

In the final scene, a mother and child appear inside, and a man standing outside, with his hands pressed against the glass, saying  goodbye. 

The Great Patriotic War, as it is called in Ukraine, resulted in one in four of the population’s being killed, with eight to 11 million deaths out of a population of 42 million. 

Kseniya  Simonova says:  “I find  it difficult enough to create art using paper  and pencils or paintbrushes, but using sand and fingers is beyond me. The art, especially when the war is used as the subject matter, even brings some audience members to tears. And, there’s surely no bigger compliment.”

View the video


Our country has been blessed.  We have never known our cities to be destroyed and one fourth of our population killed.  Even our own Civil War didn’t destroy the entire country, although many Virginians, Georgians and South Carolinians might beg to differ.   

Sometimes it helps to put things in perspective, when viewing one’s country through the eyes of this very talented young artist.  How does one so young capture the horror of the world in the 40’s?  Those living in the Ukraine must have long national memories to be able to produce such talent.  It would be hard to tell where Stalin stopped and Hitler started.  Judging from the reaction from those in the audience, the feelings are still strong and very much a part of the Ukrainians’s national being.