Five years of unimaginable suffering and sacrifice was suddenly replaced by celebrations that broke out all over Europe.
Victory in Europe Day
On Tuesday, 8 May 1945, from Paris to London, throngs of people flooded into the streets in a spontaneous celebration when the news of the German surrender flashed across the airwaves. In Holland, church bells rang across the country in gratitude for the Canadian troops that had helped liberate their country.
As Churchill said, "We may allow ourselves a brief period of rejoicing...", since the war in the Pacific was still raging, as it would for another three months, until it too, was finally over.
The copy of the radio message shown above was sent by signaller Steven Serediak to Allied troops on 7 May 1945. Steven was born and raised in Alberta and enlisted with the Canadian Army Signal Corps during the war as a signaller. His call sign was "JEKO". He was operating behind enemy lines at the time this message was sent. The official end of the war in Europe was declared the following day. This rare document was graciously provided by Geralyn Stacey and Stan Rose of Calmar, Alberta.