Today, the World War II Commemorative Gold Five Dollar Coin remembers the events of September 2, 1945, declared V-J Day by President Truman, along with speeches made by General Douglas MacArthur during the eventful gathering on the USS Missouri.
The Herald-Journal of Spartanburg, SC included the following article describing the historic signing event aboard the USS Missouri:
MacArthur: ‘Let Us Pray That Peace Be Restored’
USS Missouri, Tokyo Bay, Sunday, September 2 (AP)
The text of General MacArthur’s remarks as Supreme Allied Commander of the Japan surrender ceremony:
“We are gathered here, representatives of the major warring powers, to conclude a solemn agreement whereby peace may be restored. The issues, involving divergent ideals and ideologies, have been determined on the battlefields of the world and hence are not for our discussion or debate.
“Nor is it for us here to meet, representing as we do a majority of the people of the earth, in a spirit of distrust, malice or hatred. But rather it is for us, both victors and vanquished, to rise to that higher dignity which alone befits the sacred purposes we are about to serve, committing all our people unreservedly to faithful compliance with the understanding they are here formally to assume.
“It is my earnest hope, and indeed the hope of all mankind, that from this solemn occasion a better world shall emerge out of the blood and carnage of the past — a world founded upon faith and understanding —a world dedicated to the dignity of man and the fulfillment of his most cherished wish —for freedom, tolerance and justice.
“The terms and conditions upon which surrender of the Japanese imperial forces is here to be given and accepted are contained in the instrument of surrender now before you.
“As supreme commander for the Allied powers, I announce it my firm purpose, in the tradition of the countries I represent, to proceed in the discharge of my responsibilities with justice and tolerance, while taking all necessary dispositions to insure that the terms of surrender are fully, promptly and faithfully complied with.
“I now invite the representatives of the emperor of Japan and the Japanese government and the Japanese imperial headquarters to sign the instrument of surrender at the places indicated.
“The Supreme Commander for the Allied powers will now sign on behalf of the nations at war with Japan.
“The representatives of the United States of America will sign now.
“The representatives of the Republic of China will now sign.
“The representative of the United Kingdom will now sign.
“The representative of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics will now sign.
“The representative of Australia will now sign.
“The representative of Canada will now sign.
“The representative of France will now sign.
“The representative of Netherlands will now sign.
“The representative of New Zealand will now sign.
“Let us pray that peace be now restored to the world, and that God will preserve it always.
“These proceedings are closed.”
Similarly, the Victoria [TX] Advocate included the official text of General MacArthur’s remarks made via radio address after the completion of the signatures:
MacArthur in Stirring Address
Supreme Allied Commander Asks Return to Peace
Aboard USS Missouri, Tokyo Bay, September 2. (U.P.)
The official text of the concluding speech by the supreme commander of the Allied powers, General MacArthur, included the following:
My fellow countrymen.
Today the guns are silent. A great tragedy has ended. A great victory has been won. The skies no longer rain death—the seas bear only commerce—men everywhere walk upright in the sunlight.
The entire world lives quietly at peace. The holy mission has been completed and in reporting this to you, the people, I speak for the thousands of silent lips, forever stilled among the jungles and the beaches and in the deep waters of the Pacific which marked the way.
I speak for the unnamed brave millions homeward bound to take up the challenge of that future which they did so much to salvage from the brink of disaster.
As I look back on the long, tortuous trail from those grim days of Bataan and Corregidor, when an entire world lived in fear, when democracy was on the defensive everywhere, when modern civilization trembled in the balance, I thank a merciful God that He has given us the faith, the courage and the power from which to mould victory.
We have known the bitterness of defeat and the exultation of triumph. And from both we have learned there can be no turning back. We must go forward and preserve in peace what we won in war.
A new era is upon us. Even the lesson of victory itself brings with it profound concern, both for our future security and the survival of civilization. The destructiveness of the war potential, through progressive advances in scientific discovery, has in fact now reached a point which revises the traditional concept of war.
Men since the beginning of time have sought peace. Various methods through the ages have been attempted to devise an international process to prevent or settle disputes between nations. From the very start, workable methods were found insofar as individual citizens were concerned, but the mechanics of an instrumentality of larger international scope have never been successful.
And so, my fellow countrymen, today I report to you that your sons and daughters have served you well and faithfully with the calm, deliberate, determined fighting spirit of the American soldier and sailor, based upon a tradition of historical trait, as against the fanaticism of an enemy supported only by mythological fiction.
Their spiritual strength and power has brought us through to victory. They are homeward bound — take care of them.
The World War II Commemorative Gold Five Dollar Coin shows with an image of General MacArthur beginning his remarks on the USS Missouri, September 2, 1945.