World War II ended in September of 1995, but the United States military was still active in Japan especially, for years to follow. As with any war, the day that one side claims a victory, is not necessarily the day that all military activity is completely stopped and this was true after the end of World War II. Since my grandfather was born in 1927, he was rejected from the military during the war because he was too young, but he was stationed on a ship off the coast of Japan during the late 1940’s after the end of World War II. During his time in the military, he was issued a side arm sword by the U.S. Military. Although the war was over, the Allied Powers were still actively trying to permanently demilitarize certain areas to prevent those nations ability to continue fighting. This was why my grandfather was given this small sword to defend himself with, while he was active in the military. The second World War was a very important war in many ways, but especially the military weapons that were used, which is one of many reasons why this artifact represents such significance to American history.
World War II, and many other wars and events, can connect to a large recurring theme of American history which is the United State’s desire for expansion and control. This connects well to the topic of the frontier according to Frederick Jackson Turner, which we talked about in depth in our American Studies Class. Turner’s paper on the frontier explains the American desire for expansion into a land that we essentially stole from the Native American Indians, when settlers first came to the United States. Over 300 years after the arrival of these settlers, something similar came up in the end of World War II. After the war ended, the United States continued to control Japan and this was very alike to what Turner reflects on, as well as many other similar situations throughout American History. This directly relates to my artifact because of my grandfathers role in the United States Military, which was evident only after the Allied Powers had successfully defeated Japan.