— Chester W. Nimitz United States Navy fleet admiral 1885 - 1966
Context: Today all freedom-loving peoples of the world rejoice in the victory and feel pride in the accomplishments of our combined forces. We also pay tribute to those who defended our freedom at the cost of their lives.
On Guam is a military cemetery in a green valley not far from my headquarters. The ordered rows of white crosses stand as reminders of the heavy cost we have paid for victory. On these crosses are the names of American soldiers, sailors and marines — Culpepper, Tomaino, Sweeney, Bromberg, Depew, Melloy, Ponziani — names that are a cross-section of democracy. They fought together as brothers in arms; they died together and now they sleep side by side. To them we have a solemn obligation — the obligation to insure that their sacrifice will help to make this a better and safer world in which to live. … Now we turn to the great tasks of reconstruction and restoration. I am confident that we will be able to apply the same skill, resourcefulness, and keen thinking to these problems as were applied to the problems of winning the victory.
Statement broadcast to the United States and the Pacific Fleet, after ceremonies in Tokyo Bay accepting the official surrender of Japan (2 September 1945); a portion of this is engraved on the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.