The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Community

August 14, 2013

V-J Day emotions captured in note 68 years ago

Teenager wrote down her feelings during war

As a teenager, Marilyn Van Zant was -- like all Americans in the 1940s -- affected by World War II.

Her family, living in a rural home southeast of Anderson, had experienced rationing. Her father had also worked on war projects at the Delco plant, though he couldn’t talk about the secret work with family or friends.

But when Japanese forces agreed to an unconditional surrender to the Allies in August 1945, the 15-year-old Marilyn was ecstatic.

The surender — announced in America on Aug. 14 — ended combat in World War II. It came a few months after the April 12 death of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and on the same day that French Marshal Philippe Petain was found guilty of treason for collaborating with the Germans.

On that day, Marilyn wrote a five-page note detailing her feelings. She put it in desk drawer in her bedroom.

Marilyn came across her letter recently. At 83, she has returned to live again in her parent’s home. Over the years, she married and was widowed three times. She had four children with her first husband, Edwin Sanders, and later married Don Adams and Eugene Martin

A graduate of Anderson High School and Ball State University, she became a teacher. She has 19 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.

Sitting in her cozy family home, she recently looked at the faded lined pieces of paper where she had written down her thoughts in cursive.

“It was like I was reading something by another person when I discovered it, but it was my 15-year-old self,” she said.

“I wasn’t in school that day because it was summer. I didn’t write this for an assignment. But the emotion of the day, I just had to write it down.”

Japan surrendered on Aug. 15, 1945, but Americans heard the news on Aug. 14, due to the time difference. The following is the full text of her account of the day.

Text Only
Community
  • Jim Bailey: Gospel singer’s long road to recovery has begun Eighteen months ago, gospel singer and The Perrys manager Tracy Stuffle found himself wrecked by the side of the road, where he struggled to summon help on his cell phone. He had suffered a severe stroke while driving.

    July 30, 2014

  • Community Briefs: July 31 A compilation of community news items as published in the Thursday edition of The Herald Bulletin.

    July 30, 2014

  • FEA HB0730 Gordon Brooks Berky strives to unite community through the arts His theater was originally going to be a place where he could perform when he’s not on tour, but then actor and mask maker Doug Berky had a bigger idea: Unite the community through entertainment.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Community Briefs: July 30 A compilation of community news as published in the Wednesday edition of The Herald Bulletin.

    July 29, 2014

  • FEA - HB0729 - Senior Falls Aging safely in the comfort of her home Marilyn Moneyhun said being totally reliant on others is difficult. "Losing your independence is a shock to your system," Moneyhun, 84, said. "You are not in control anymore."

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Community Briefs: July 29 A compilation of community news items as published in the Tuesday edition of The Herald Bulletin.

    July 29, 2014

  • FEA - HB0728 - Fresh Orientation - SH Elwood freshmen learn the ways of high school through mentoring program About half the 112 incoming freshmen at Elwood Jr./Sr. High School got a jump on their friends recently by attending a freshman orientation session. Joan Mercer, an English teacher who helped organize the the orientation, said the mentor program, which has been in place for several years, has been effective in new students make the high school transition.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • FEA-HB0727-MCWinery-JC6.JPG Having a wine time

    Cathy Hensley’s never been much of a drinker. It wasn’t something that interested her very much, so it seemed unfathomable that she would ever run a winery. But after her son Eric offered her and her husband, Duke, some wine he made, it changed things.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lanane among LifeStream honorees Dr. Jon Hendrix and Katie Lucas, both of Muncie; Janet Privett, Montezuma, Ohio, and Sen. Tim Lanane (D), Anderson, will be honored during a reception Aug. 7 in Muncie for their work in making a difference in the lives of aging adults and people with disabilities.

    July 26, 2014

  • Community Briefs: July 27 A compilation of community news items as published in the Sunday edition of The Herald Bulletin.

    July 26, 2014

Reader Pet Photos


We're looking for your best pet photos! Share your photos of your favorite non-human companions in our new photo gallery. Click here to upload your photos

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
More Resources from The Herald Bulletin