May 7, 2024: Germany Surrenders to the Allies 79 Years On

On May 7, 1945, Germany signed an unconditional surrender at Allied headquarters in Rheims, France, bringing an end to World War II in Europe.

Read the original AP story. From here.

From the Archives of The Associated Press:

Editor’s Note:
Edward Kennedy, AP’s chief of bureau in Paris, was the first to file a story announcing the end of the war in Europe. Kennedy and other reporters had witnessed the German surrender at Reims, France, and had been told by military officials that they could not report the event until it had been announced by the Allied governments in Washington, London and Moscow. The military later said it would be the following day before the surrender news could be transmitted because a second surrender ceremony was being planned for Berlin. Kennedy decided to break the embargo when the surrender was announced – at the request of the Allies – on German radio. Military censors retaliated by suspending the AP’s filing privileges from Europe. (The ban was lifted after six hours.)

Here is the first word that moved over the AP wire at 9:35 a.m. New York time on May 7, 1945:



That transmission was followed one minute later by:




Here is the rest of Kennedy’s story:

The surrender took place at a little red schoolhouse that is the headquarters of Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower.

The surrender was signed for the Supreme Allied Command by Lt. Gen. Walter Bedell Smith, chief of staff for Gen. Eisenhower.

It was also signed by Gen. Ivan Susloparov of the Soviet Union and by Gen. Francois Sevez for France.

Gen. Eisenhower was not present at the signing, but immediately afterward Gen. Jodl and his fellow delegate, Gen. Admiral Hans Georg Friedeburg, were received by the Supreme Commander.

They were asked sternly if they understood the surrender terms imposed upon Germany and if they would be carried out by Germany.

They answered yes.

Germany, which began the war with a ruthless attack upon Poland, followed by successive aggressions and brutality in concentration camps, surrendered with an appeal to the victors for mercy toward the German people and armed forces.

After having signed the full surrender, Gen. Jodl said he wanted to speak and received leave to do so.

“With this signature,” he said in soft-spoken German, “the German people and armed forces are for better or worse delivered into the victor’s hands.

“In this war, which has lasted more than five years, both have achieved and suffered more than perhaps any other people in the world.”

May 7, 2024: Happy Birthday, Mom

Today would have been my mama’s 102nd birthday, something I simply cannot fathom (and something she would have undoubtedly hated!); where has the time gone?? My mother was an exquisite role-model of motherhood. She loved me, spent time with me, loved me enough to instill what it meant to be a Maney, and disciplined me when I did not live up to that standard. I hated it at the time, but am grateful for it today. She allowed me to have a childhood that was second to none because she insisted that I be a kid and worked sacrificially to make that happen. In that regard, I have very much missed her presence these past 16 years. But I cannot be sad because I would rather her be where she is than to be here with me and struggling with illness and infirmity like she did in her last years (check out this reflection on grief and consolation over parents who have died).

Thank you mama, for being the mother you were. Thank you for all your sacrifice for me and for our family. Thank you for allowing me to grow up in a timely manner and not before it was my time to do so. Thank you for personifying sacrificial love for me. And thank you, dear God, for blessing me with the best parents a person could ever want or dream of having.

Happy birthday, mama. I love you. Enjoy your rest with the Lord who loves you and has claimed you from all eternity.

Rest eternal grant unto Margaret, O Lord, and let light perpetual shine upon her. May she, with the rest of God’s saints, through the mercy and grace of God, rest in peace and RISE IN GLORY. Amen.

And for those of you whose mother is still living, make sure you remember your mama on Mothers’ Day next Sunday. Better yet, treat her like every day is Mothers’ Day. I know my mama would surely approve.