Note: This posting is Number 3 in a 5-letter series, taken from the war correspondence between my grandmother (Connie Maris) in Holland, Michigan, to her husband, Chaplain Marvin Maris, in the Philippines.
V-E Day, May 8, 1945: Tuesday
Dearest Chaplain Mine:
Well, the day is done and I’m sitting in bed, cozily garbed in my men’s flannel PJs (which might not be worn out when you return!), trying to figure out the day’s events.
At 8 a.m., we heard Truman’s proclamation. He was fine. It was a deeply moving speech and very spiritual. Immediately following, we heard Churchill who talked over twice as long and said less! All day, we heard broadcasts from all over the world but Russia — and this afternoon, King of England spoke. He had a trying time and his stuttering was almost audible. Tonight, we heard the lighting of the statue of Liberty — the first time since we were at war — Then I went to church.
We had a very nice service. It was quite formal and very reserved and quiet, a prayerful service, not a jubilee.
After service, I went with Jeanette to her sister’s and had coffee and now here at home, in bed I am.
Whilst listening to the radio, I washed curtains, vacuumed rugs and got supper of egg soufflé, pop overs and fruit salad, being how the stores are all closed.
Priscilla went to the movies and Rolf played around all day — it didn’t mean much to him except a day off from school.
We could wish the war in Asia over, too. The paper carried an article today that the governor of Michigan was asked to find more Army chaplains here. 300 more needed immediately. Well, I’ve no more chaplains to give to my country!!
Russian Molastof is to speak now. Stalin just announced the German capitulation. Molastof is speaking in Russian and I can’t understand his. He is speaking to the SJ conference. They are going to translate it, I hope!
I heard the translation — no promise of any help for us. I don’t suppose we can expect any, can we?
It will be a greater day for me and us when VJ Day comes. Then it will be a year, I suppose, before you do get home. I’m keeping busy — chin up and time will go fast. We’ve been apart a year already.
All my love, Connie
Note: My grandmother’s reference to the Russian “Molastof” was actually to be spelled Molotov. Vyacheslav Molotov, (b. 1890, d. 1986) was a Russian statesman and diplomat who was foreign minister and the major spokesman for the Soviet Union at Allied conferences during and immediately after WW II. “SJ conference” refers to the Soviet-Japanese War conference.
Connie, you should share these with the local high school history teacher…..could be a poster board presentation…..just a thought. To hear your grandmother comment on the King’s speech is remarkable…..as a follower of the Windsors.