V-E Day–May 8, 1945
D. Reed Jordan was assigned to the public relations section of the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF). He writes the following about May 7, 1945:
“We got word that the Germans were willing to meet our demands for an unconditional surrender shortly after midnight on May 7, 1945. I wrote Special Communique Eight, releasing this long-awaited news to the world. I had only a very short time. I realized I would never pass down another document that would mean so much to people worldwide….
“I was witness to the German signing of World War II surrender documents in the war room in SHAEF Forward Headquarters in Reims, France. It was 2:00 A.M. There were no reporters or photographers present. It took only fifteen minutes; there was no messing around. It was a time of joy, but also a time to lament the horrible suffering and loss of life and the appalling destruction of property. It had been a vast calamity. For my part in this ceremony, I was awarded the Bronze Star, a decoration usually reserved for men in combat.”–Saints at War, Edited by Robert C. Freeman and Dennis A. Wright.
The surrender went into effect on May 8, 1945 and there was literally dancing in the streets in London.