102-year-old Cleveland veteran re-enacts 1945 Victory in Europe Day confetti toss

Posted at 7:27 PM, Jul 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-28 19:27:34-04

It was a very special trip down memory lane Friday for a veteran in Cleveland. Mabel Johnson served in the Coast Guard during World War II. She was working at the Keith Building on Euclid Avenue back in 1945, when the war officially came to an end.

Victory in Europe Day -- or VE Day -- became "the Celebration heard 'round the world." And Cleveland was no exception.

When Mabel Johnson walked off the elevator of the Keith Building with her daughter Friday, she had no idea what she was in for.

Johnson is 102 years old. Her face was alive with emotion as she recalled that day 72 years ago, still so fresh in her memory.

“It was so exciting,” she said. “The whistles were blowing, all kinds of noise and people running all over just so happy.”

Those memories came flooding back she relived the moment, re-enacting her VE Day confetti toss.

“We had a little radio and the president was talking to us and then everyone was here just throwing things out the window,” Johnson explained. “It was really a fun day.”

The day marked the end of six long, miserable years of suffering, with unwavering courage and hope ultimately winning out and victory spilling into the streets of downtown Cleveland.

“We were all very, very excited,” she said.

Johnson was also presented with a digitally scanned artist's rendering of the building, and the 16th floor conference room was renamed the "Mabel Johnson Conference Room" in her honor.