Our Book of the Month and Honoring those who fought in WWII

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The Time of Remembrance and Reconciliation for Those Who Lost Their Lives during the Second World War (May 8 and May 9) is an annual international day of remembrance designated by Resolution 59/26  of the United Nations General Assembly on November 22, 2004. The resolution urges ‘Member States, organizations of the United Nations system, non-governmental organizations and individuals’ to pay tribute to the victims of World War II. In the United States, it is observed on May 8, the anniversary of the date when the World War II Allies accepted the unconditional surrender of the armed forces of Nazi Germany and the end of Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich.

May 8 is also Victory in Europe (V-E) Day. This day in 1945 marked the formal acceptance by the Allies of World War II of Nazi Germany’s unconditional surrender of its armed forces. With that surrender came the end of World War II in Europe.

What did the WWII home front in Binghamton look like? Ronald Capalaces’ book, When All the Men Were Gone tells that story. He writes: “I lived on the Kelly block at 30 Dickinson Street in the First Ward during the war years with my mother, older sister, and younger brother in the two-bedroom apartment on the second floor – the one on the left, facing the street. All the men were gone; gone for the duration of the war. Left behind were wives, mothers, children, old folks, and the military rejects all facing an uncertain future.”

“The America of World War II stands in sharp contrast to the America of today … we at the Binghamton home front lived in a world where television, cell phones, computers, satellites, and the internet did not exist.”

How else did Binghamton then differ from Binghamton now? What was that world like? Read about it in When All the Men Were Gone, part of the Mark Kulikowski Collection, one of the Local History resources in Special Collections.

Special Collections is located on the second floor of the Bartle Library (off of the North Reading Room). Our hours are Monday-Friday, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

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