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WASHINGTON. Sixty-six years ago, 14 August, 1945, the bloodiest war in human history finally ended with a radio broadcast by President Harry S. Truman. Even before the instrument of surrender was formally signed aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay on 2 September, plans to demobilize the 16 million American men and women in uniform were being carried out. Though the conflict claimed nearly 50 million lives, including more than 400,000 American dead and another 670,000 wounded, it was the beginning of an era of great expectations for our “Greatest Generation” and its progeny.

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