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Associated Press
Britain's King George VI talks with Prime Minister Winston Churchill and members of the cabinet and chiefs of staff in the grounds of Buckingham Palace, in London on May 8, 1945, during VE Day celebrations. in the foreground are, Sir Archibald Sinclair, Lord Woolton, Winston Churchill, King George VI, Herbret Morrison, Ernest Bevin, Sir John Anderson.

"This is a solemn but glorious hour. General Eisenhower informs me that the forces of Germany have surrendered to the United Nations. The flags of freedom fly all over Europe."

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Seventy-four years ago today, on May 8, 1945, President Harry S. Truman read those words to the press, a few hours before he would say them to the rest of the country. This raising of the "flags of freedom" marked what became known as VE Day, or Victory in Europe Day.

Germany's surrender did not mark the end of World War II, as the war was still ongoing against Japan, but signaled a shift in attention to the fight on the Pacific Front. Three months later, in August, Japan would follow Germany in surrendering.

On this 74th anniversary of VE Day, here's a photographic look back at the world's reaction to Germany's surrender and the end of the war in Europe: