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V-E Day Radio Address1
May 8, 1945 Washington, D.C.
Today we celebrate a great victory, a day of solemn thanksgiving. My admiration and gratitude go first to those who have fallen, and to the men of the American armies of the air and ground whose complete devotion to duty and indomitable courage have overcome the enemy and every conceivable obstacle in achieving this historic victory.
To their commanders who organized and led the invasions of Europe across the seas, in the air and on the ground, through Africa and Italy and France into the heart of Germany, I pay tribute. They have been superb, superb in their courage and in the efficiency of their leadership. History and the returning veterans will give them far more of praise than we will accord them in the celebrations of the day.
For the Allied fighting men, for their officers and great leaders who fought with us, who cooperated so wholeheartedly, so generously with us, especially in the critical moments of the war, I express profound admiration and deepest appreciation. They have proved conclusively, with us, that democracies can successfully cooperate in unity for a great and common purpose.
We owe thanks2 and acknowledgment to the Naval forces and seamen who gave faultless support to the landings on hostile shores and who guarded the millions of men and their supplies across the Atlantic and into the Mediterranean.
The success of every campaign and operation has depended upon those who labored day and night to supply our Armies, to establish their communications, to perform miracles of engineering in advancing the fighting men. The record of the tasks in organization, supply and equipment, in tactical and strategical triumphs compose too vast a pattern of remarkable achievements to summarize today or in any one day. The world has never dreamed of such undertakings, just as the world has never witnessed such a victory. The enemy and the pessimists together have been swept from the board by a long succession of victories culminating today in the final triumph, the complete destruction of German military power.
Let us celebrate the victory and say our prayers of thanksgiving, and then turn with all the power and stern resolution of America to destroy forever and in the shortest possible time every vestige of military power in the Japanese nation.
Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Pentagon Office Collection, Speeches, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Typed draft.
1. General Marshall prepared this statement on May 7, 1945. (Marshall Draft of V-E Day Radio Statement, May 7, 1945, GCMRL/G. C. Marshall Papers [Pentagon Office, Selected].)
2. Marshall’s draft reads: “We owe our thanks.” (Ibid.)
Recommended Citation: ThePapers of George Catlett Marshall, ed.Larry I. Bland and Sharon Ritenour Stevens(Lexington, Va.: The George C. Marshall Foundation, 1981- ). Electronic version based on The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, vol. 5, “The Finest Soldier,” January 1, 1945-January 7, 1947 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2003), p. 172.