This is the seventy-fourth and seventy-fifth of 87 letters exchanged during World War II between Nicholas Salvatore and Elizabeth Galloway. For more see Nicholas and Elizabeth.

President Truman announces end of war

May 8, 1945
Alive and well in Arizona

Dear Nicholas,

Tell me it’s not a dream. Please tell me it’s not a dream. If it is I never want to wake up. It’s over, it’s really over. The people here have never been so animated, so alive. Even the old folks. I’ve never seen Mr. Foley smile before. Today he was weeping and smiling and crying out in joy. You boys did it, you really did it. With Hitler dead they’re finished.

It’s surreal and fantastic. We heard the reports from New York and boy do I wish I could’ve been there in the streets.

I know they still need you, but don’t you think you could at least try to get out of there as soon as possible? You’re right when you said we can do anything when we’re together. I don’t care what we do. Honestly, I don’t. I feel as though you understand me and I don’t know why, but it doesn’t matter why. All that matters is that feeling, the one you mentioned before. Let it come, and let it never disappear.

I want to hold your face in my hands and feel the warmth of your touch. Lord knows I’ve pictured it more than enough times to have the image burned in my memory. Once it happens for real though, everything will change. Let it be soon.

Elizabeth

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May 8, 1945

The end is nigh, and we couldn’t be happier

Dear Elizabeth,

Happy V-E Day! I can’t believe it. There’s still so much to do over here and that’s all I could think of when I first heard the news. Everyone was running around and celebrating and all I could think of was the work left undone. Someone had to shake me out of it, literally. One of the nurses. She pretty much said, “What’s wrong with you? It’s over!” I don’t know why but it was hard to let go of. Once she did that though, I realized how silly I was being – I almost missed out on this moment. After everything we’ve been through, we deserve this. There will always be more work to do and people who need help, but if we don’t take the time to celebrate the joys, then what do we become?

Oh Elizabeth, I can’t wait to see you. It looks like I’m gonna make it through this mess after all. Yet for as much as I complain, it’s nothing compared to what these people have had to go through. I can go home but many here no longer have homes. This all happened in their backyards and their resilience has been amazing. If the roles had been reversed I don’t know if I could say the same. They never gave up, never stopped fighting no matter the threats and punishments. Yes, we have all earned this, and yes, we can all share in this joy.

If you were here I’d hold you and kiss you until the sun stopped shining and the earth stopped spinning.
It won’t be long now.


Love,

Nicholas

Next letter – May 15, 1945

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