The people of Pasco took the business of World War II very seriously, as this front page story reveals.
Pasco accepts V-E day with calm assurance
Published on May 10, 1945
By the Pasco Herald staff
Pasco reached the halfway mark in the war Tuesday, it’s citizens taking the official German surrender announcement in their stride, the wheels of the common ordinary and very necessary business of living and winning the war grinding out the usual routine of the day.
Pasco had no official celebration of the surrender of Germany... the celebration was in the individual heart, manifested by quiet but heartfelt prayers of thanksgiving for the successful end to half the task.
And intermingled with the prayers of thanksgiving were prayers in memory of the boys who will not return. And with these prayers came a stiffening of the heart’s determination that these boys did not die in vain.
Although there was no jubilant celebration on the streets of Pasco there were sober observances of The Day in the schools and in the churches.
Members of the Pasco Chamber of Commerce, meeting briefly Tuesday in Frank’s Grill for the first time, heard a prayer of thanksgiving on victory in Europe by Rev. Charles Hatten and then adjourned early to attended the special exercises at the Pasco Holding and Reconsignment Point as guests of Col. W.R. Hazelrig.
Music for the occasion was furnished by the Pasco Naval Air Station band and col. Hazelrig was master of ceremonies. He explained the policy of the War Department in ordering no cessation of work on V-E day and stated that the Point was planning to turn out the biggest day’s work of its history on Wednesday.
Captain Clifford Johnson described the job that remains to be done and illustrated the problems in transportation that have to be done before the Japanese can be brought to the same point his German ally has already reached. A huge map of the Pacific area had been drawn to illustrate his points and it showed very geographically the job that the Allies have to do in getting men and supplies to the Pacific fighting fronts.
Lt. Leonard Gilmartin, bond chairman for the Point, concluded the meeting with a plea for buying more and more bonds to hasten the end of the war. Following the meeting the workers flocked around the table to purchase the first bonds for the 7th War Loan.
An air of youthful quiet and solemnity pervaded the Tuesday morning assembly at Pasco High School when during the special V-E Day assembly the students quietly sang hymns of praise and thanksgiving with short and well-thought-out V-E Day talks by the Reverend Oliver Adams and O.H. Olson adding to the dignity and planned solemnity of the hour.
Both Mr. Adams and Mr. Olson pointed out, that while there should be quiet rejoicing in the heart because part of the task was successfully completed, still, with the grave days ahead of the nation, there should be intense and thoughtful meditation on the part of youth, to help them see the part that youth will play in the days ahead.
Services of thanksgiving were held at the Congregational Church Tuesday evening at eight o’clock, members of the Methodist Church and the Christian Church joining in the devout service, which consisted of prayers, the singing of hymns and scripture readings.
Members of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church gathered at St. Patrick’s for a thanksgiving service at 7:30 Tuesday evening, the service consisting of the singing of the church’s traditional hymn of thanksgiving, Te Deum Domine, prayers of thanks and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.
Colonel W. R. Hazelrig, Commanding Officer of Pasco Holding and Reconsignment Point, announced Tuesday that the point’s job is only two thirds complete. He said, "Now that we’ve brought Italy and Germany to our terms of unconditional surrender, we must concentrate on the third part of the axis triangle -- Japan.