"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public." -- Theodore Roosevelt

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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Imperial Japan Formally Surrenders to Allies on Sept. 2, 1945, Ending WWII

I'm 2 1/2 hours late on this. Careless of me...

After accepting the Allies' terms more than two weeks earlier, Japan formally surrendered on the deck of the U.S.S. Missouri.

Before the short signing ceremony, General Douglas MacArthur made these very brief remarks that I have long found rather moving.

We are gathered here, representatives of the major warring powers, to conclude a solemn agreement whereby peace may be restored. The issues, involving divergent ideals and ideologies, have been determined on the battlefields of the world and hence are not for our discussion or debate. Nor is it for us here to meet, representing as we do a majority of the people of the earth, in a spirit of distrust, malice or hatred. But rather it is for us, both victors and vanquished, to rise to that higher dignity which alone befits the sacred purposes we are about to serve, committing all our people unreservedly to faithful compliance with the understanding they are here formally to assume.

It is my earnest hope, and indeed the hope of all mankind, that from this solemn occasion a better world shall emerge out of the blood and carnage of the past -- a world dedicated to the dignity of man and the fulfillment of his most cherished wish for freedom, tolerance and justice.
Much of the effect of MacArthur's words were due to his rhetorical ability and I'm sure somewhere on the internet is a video of these remarks.

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