VJ Day

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Today—August 15—Is VJ Day, the day Japan announced it would surrender (although the actual surrender ceremony wouldn’t take place until September 2) in 1945. These are the sort of dates we all learned and were tested on during school. And while a certain amount of history knowledge is no doubt a good thing to have (as Ken Burns has pointed out, 40 percent of high school seniors think we fought with the Germans against the Russians during World War II), one thing the Your Stories project has taught me is that fact and dates take on a new significance when you know what is behind those dates and facts. 

An example? Here’s one from the war in the Pacific, the one that ended on August 15, 1945:

  

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