Lewes – On Saturday, Sept. 2, DNREC Secretary Shawn M. Garvin will join with the Fort Miles Historical Association (FMHA) for a commemorative ceremony marking the 72nd anniversary of VJ Day, when the Japanese surrendered on the U.S.S. Missouri, which ended World War II. The ceremony will be held at the Fort Miles Museum, which is located in DNREC’s Cape Henlopen State Park. The Fort Miles Historical Association and DNREC’s Delaware State Parks have partnered in the effort to restore Fort Miles since 2003. The ceremony will be held in the shadow of one of the big guns that were aboard the U.S.S. Missouri where the surrender took place, and which was secured at the museum in 2016.
“We are proud to serve as host to this commemoration of VJ Day, as we honor the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice to secure our freedom during WWII,” said DNREC Secretary Garvin. “The dedication of the volunteers of the Fort Miles Historical Association reminds us of the country’s ‘Greatest Generation’ that manned Fort Miles and protected Delaware’s coast during WWII. We have been pleased to partner with the Fort Miles Historical Association for more than a decade to make the Fort Miles Museum the best of its kind in the nation, and will continue this successful partnership in the future to further restore this historic treasure.”
DNREC’s Division of Parks & Recreation and the Fort Miles Historical Association worked together in 2012 to secure one of the three remaining 16″ gun barrels from the battleship Missouri that were aboard on Sept. 2, 1945 when the Japanese surrendered. The gun was refurbished and placed in the FMHA’s Artillery Park in 2016.
“On Sept. 2, 1945, the 11-member Japanese delegation boarded the U.S.S. Missouri, walked past our big gun and then stood in front of the Allied delegation to surrender and end WWII,” said Dr. Gary Wray, president of the FMHA. “As this barrel was witness to the surrender that ended the war, the FMHA holds a ceremonial event to honor that day and the ultimate sacrifice made by hundreds of thousands of American soldiers, sailors, Marines, and airmen to secure the nation’s freedom. The ceremony also honors the nearly 900 Delaware men and women who were killed in the war.”
Honored during the ceremony will be the FMHA members who have passed away during 2017. The ceremony will take place underneath the shadow of the Missouri barrel that was actually at one of the most famous end of the war ceremonies in history overlooking the beautiful Delaware coast in Cape Henlopen State Park. The FMHA honors both the gun barrel and its service in WWII, the country’s men and women who made the maximum sacrifice in WWII and the fallen FMHA members over the last year in this ceremony each year.
Image Credits: First State Update