U.S. Territories, Not States, Bear The Scars Of World War II

U.S. Territories, Not States, Bear The Scars Of World War II

As we mark 75 years since the cessation of hostilities in the Pacific Theater of the Second World War, we should keep in mind that it was not the United States’s 48 states then whose land and people sustained the scars of enemy occupation. That was borne by the U.S. territories, whose residents continue to play a pivotal role in our nation’s life.

For 23 minutes on September 2, 1945, the world was tuned in to a ceremony of the greatest importance coming from Tokyo Bay. That morning aboard the U.S.S. Missouri, U.S. Gen. Douglas MacArthur signed as supreme commander for the Allied Powers the documents accepting the unconditional surrender of the Japanese Empire, officially ending World War II.

Americans know well that the United States joined WWII as a direct result of the sneak attack on Hawaii on December 7, 1941. What is less remembered now is that Hawaii was a U.S. territory at the time and that

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