Standing on the balcony of London’s Guildhall and accepting the London Sword, then General Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Allied Commander, Europe, stood at the precipice of human sacrifice and dignity, as he orated a speech that he had written himself and memorized for the occasion.[i]
With Europe in ruins, and the rues of the Holocaust cemented in the inroads of world memory, Eisenhower who led the Allied to the defeat of Nazism, “accepted the tribute, acknowledging that he was but a symbol of the great human forces that had ‘labored arduously and successfully for a righteous cause’”.[ii]
On May 8th, both the United States and Britain celebrate Victory in Europe Day. This day commemorates the day, in 1945, that the Nazi force, fraught with casualties, laid down their arms in a final cease-fire.[iii] With only pockets of fire the next day, the Germans surrendered comprehensively on May 9th, the day that Russians officially celebrate VE Day.[iv] Stalin himself, uncharacteristically because of his thick Georgian accent, broadcasted a salute over the radio: “Your courage has defeated the Nazis. The war is over.”
Please try to take a moment today to commemorate those Americans who served on the front during WWII and those who continue that great tradition of service today. The service to the country stops not with those formally serving but extends to the parents, wives, husbands, and children who support(ed) their warriors and country.
To learn more about VE Day and World War II visit HERE: