World War II Veterans Day proclaimed in Wythe County

Military

FILE – General of the Army Douglas MacArthur, Supreme Allied Commander, and General Wainwright, who surrendered to the Japanese after Bataan and Corregidor, witness the formal Japanese surrender signatures aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay on Sept. 2, 1945. A Pearl Harbor ceremony in Hawaii marking the 75th anniversary of World War II will only feature veterans living in Hawaii after organizers limited those who can attend over coronavirus concerns. The plan before Friday had been to allow about 200 people, mostly WWII veterans, their families and government officials, to gather on the battleship USS Missouri, which hosted the Japanese surrender on Sept. 2, 1945 in Tokyo Bay.(AP Photo, File)

WYTHEVILLE, Va. (WVNS) — The Board of Supervisors in Wythe County has officially declared Sept. 2, 2020 as “World War II Veterans Day.” The date coincides with the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II. That was when the Japanese Instrument of Surrender was signed.

The motion was passed unanimously by the board at their most recent meeting. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, no World War II veterans were present at the time. Board members said they will be presenting framed copies of the resolution to various veterans groups.

“Our thoughts in passing this resolution was two-fold: First and foremost, we wanted to honor the heroes who fought to literally save the world in the 1940s, and secondly, we wanted to provide a reminder to those younger that there once lived a generation who paid the ultimate price to give us a better world,” said Wythe County Board of Supervisors Chairman Brian W. Vaught.

Vaught in encouraging citizens of Wythe County to do something extra special for World War II veterans on that day. This is because the ongoing virus-lockdown prohibits many of the celebrations members of the Greatest Generation are owed.

Existing records show around 100 Wythe County citizens were killed in action during World War II. Here is the complete text of the resolution:

WHEREAS on December 7, 1941 a date which will live in infamy the United States of America was
suddenly and deliberately attacked by the naval and air force s of the Empire of Japan; and,

WHEREAS this attack claimed the lives of 2,335 Americans, including 65 civilians; and,

WHEREAS the Axis powers of Europe were committing genocide on a scale previously unseen in world history; and,

WHEREAS around 6 million Jews lost their lives to Nazi persecution during the Holocaust; and,

WHEREAS some 16 million Americans served in the United States Armed Forces, with 405,399 killed and 671,278 wounded in battle to eliminate the evil horrors perpetrated by the vile alliance of the Axis powers; and,

WHEREAS a countless number of Wythe County citizens enlisted in this righteous fight, including
approximately 100 Wythe Countians who were killed in combat; and,

WHEREAS the sacrifices of everyday Americans who fought in World War II have undoubtedly made for a more peaceful and more prosperous today; and,

WHEREAS on September 2, 1945, representatives from the Japanese government and Allied forces
assembled aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay to sign the Japanese Instrument of Surrender, which formally ended World War II; and,

WHEREAS Wednesday, September 2, 2020, marks the 75th anniversary to the end of this terrible chapter in human history; and,

WHEREAS this Board commends the longstanding peaceful relations our nation and the citizens of Germany, Italy and Japan have enjoyed for three quarters of a century and we pray this unbreakable friendship and peace will be passed to our children’s grandchildren,

BE IT RESOLVED that the Wythe County Board of Supervisors and the citizens of this locality wish to extend our heartfelt gratitude to every person who served in the American Armed Forces during this conflict, as well as to their families and friends; and,

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this Board doth hereby proclaim Wednesday, September 2, 2020, as World War II Veterans Day in Wythe County.

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