There were patriotic salutes on the ground and in the air to celebrate the 70th Anniversary of VJ Day that ended World War II at Veterans Park Saturday.
A crowd estimated at 250 listened to the history and a recording of then President Harry S. Truman’s announcement that ended the conflict with Japan.
The 90-minute program featured music, stories and salutes to this nation’s “Greatest Generation.”
“The real honored guests are the ones who served and serve today,” said City of Broken Arrow Vice Mayor Richard Carter. “Thank you for being here.”
Carter turned to event organizer Frank Riesinger and said, “Thank you for putting this on.”
City Councilor, Scott Eudey, told his story of relatives that might have died if the United States had been forced to invade Japan in 1945. The atomic bombs dropped on Japan in August ended the country’s resolve and no invasion was necessary.
“Today’s a day to be proud of the greatest country in the world,” said Br. Gen. (ret) Tom Mancino.
Dr. Clarence Oliver, who is a Korean War veteran, gave a detailed history of the park’s three monuments. He encouraged everyone to read the plaques attached to each.
Brian O’Hara, who represented Rep. Jim Bridenstine, forwarded the Congressman’s best wishes to the veterans. “He is a champion of veteran’s rights,” O’Hara said of Bridenstine’s views.
Two flyovers featuring vintage World War II fighters came during and at the end of the festivities.