A New Life! Retirement at its Best 2020-34

VJ-Day Presentations

Throughout the country commemorative services were held, wreaths were laid and speeches held to commemorate VJ-Day. Even in the Netherlands and Great Britain people reflected on the end of the War in the Pacific and the millions of lives it cost to make the Japanese surrender. I did not know that they commemorated in a big way in Great Britain, with military bagpipers and flyovers; they had not been able to celebrate VE-Day in June, because of the virus, so I guess they doubled up. A long time friend in London sent me a nice message at the start of my day. It made me smile. Herbert was 11 years old when I was a nanny with the family for the summer of 1960. There were four children, ranging from 11 to 3 years old. We had a wonderful summer with all kinds of adventures, traveling to Paris and the South of France, and on both sides we often relive the memories. The parents have passed away, but I am still in touch with two of the children, the two oldest, both grandparents now.

Here, at Waltonwood, I did two Presentations, on August 13 and August 14, for an audience of 9 and 6 respectively, because of the Covid virus; the smallest audience I have ever had. But they were attentive and asked questions afterwards. Except for one hombre, who is legally blind and very hard of hearing. He slept through the whole hour. His wife had dropped him off and, hopefully, had some respite time for herself. I can imagine that it is very hard on someone to have to take care of another 24/7, and in the theatre he was at least safe in a seat, with others around him. We raised the flag.

By the way, do you know why the Japanese did not surrender after the bomb on Hiroshima? And why they did not immediately surrender after the bomb on Nagasaki but waited six days? Let me know if you know 🙂

The pond

After the sprinklers had been on for 24 hours, the water in our pond had receded to two puddles with a dam in the middle that I could have walked across. Eventually, the fountain died, the two turtles and the large bullfrog that always sat on the shore, half way in the water, had become invisible. It was a sorry sight, and I wondered what had happened to the fish. But after three days, a truck showed up and the morning after that the water was back to its regular level and the fountain splashed again. What a waste of water that was! It’s good that we don’t live in the desert, and it has rained a lot the past few days. On my evening walk I enjoyed a loud concert of happy voices of crickets, frogs and the bullfrog. It is so wonderful not to live high up in an apartment building but in a cottage surrounded by nature! From our living room windows we could imagine we live in a tree house.

It’s a Wonderful Life!

Until next time,







2 thoughts on “A New Life! Retirement at its Best 2020-34”

  1. As always, a great post.

    Every year we get a calendar from the WWII Museum in New Orleans as we have visited there and are members. Perhaps you have visited there, too. It’s a great visitors’ stop. The European Theatre building was more complete as the Pacific Theatre was still being finished then.

    The calendar shows, as we know, the Hiroshima bomb was dropped on August 6, on Nagasaki on the 9th but Emperor Hirohito did not announce surrender until August 15. Terry‘s research suggests the the Japanese did not surrender after the Hiroshima bomb because they believed that the US had only one such bomb. Obviously that belief was shattered with the bombing of Nagasaki. Terry does not know why it took so long for the Japanese to officially surrender after the dropping of the second atomic bomb, but he thinks it might have taken a few days for them to fully understand what had happened. After all, there was no email in those days! so it took a bit longer to get all the news out to the decision makers.

    Perhaps this is old info for you…

    On the 17th an American military plane found the POW camp on the Shandong peninsula in north China where Terry and everyone from his hometown of Tientsin had been living (I should say surviving) for three years. Great rejoicing. Because the Chinese civil war started immediately after Hirohito announced surrender the railroads were blown up and no one could be relocated back home. It took two months for them to be evacuated back to Tientsin by military planes.

    Back to my calendar – it shows VJ Day officially on September 2nd when everything was signed on board the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay. So that is our VJ Day.

    • Thanks for your comment, Carol. No, we have never been to any WWII museum, sadly. But here is what I have found through research and what I am telling my audience when I do a presentation:

      After Hiroshima in 2006, Japan turned to Russia for help. Japan and Russia had a pact (wapen stilstand) for five years, because Russia was attacked on the West by Germany and Japan wanted to concentrate on their south and southeast to get the monopoly. BUT..the pact would end after the war in Europe ended, and that was June 1945. So Russia turned West and started to invade Manchuria, which had been captured by the Japanese; Russia wanted it back and was not willing to help Japan.

      After Nagasaki in 2009? The Japanese had made a bomb of their own. They were waiting for a German ship with a load of plutonium, but it was intercepted close to the US coast and never arrived. Still the Japanese tried their bomb on a small island 20 miles off the coast of Korea (which they had occupied). The bomb was a failure. (no doubt killed many of their own people in the meantime) Then there was a military coup, and Hirohito had to go into hiding, and on August 15 he finally said.”The “war situation,” he said, “has developed not necessarily to Japan’s advantage, while the general trends of the world have turned against her interest. Moreover, the enemy has begun to employ a new and most cruel bomb. … We have resolved to pave the way for a grand peace for all the generations to come by enduring the unendurable and suffering what is insufferable.” He never used the words “defeat” or “surrender.””

      On September 2, the Document was signed, and that, I just learned, is for the US the official end of the war. OK. I will hang the flag again! 🙂


      Ronny Herman de Jong


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