Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Recollections of War: Victory in Europe!

Britain's Daily Mail newspaper of May 8th
        As I continue writing and remembering the major events of World War II, one thing I have been impressed with of late is the need to never forget the important and world-changing series of events between the years 1939 and 1945.  Unfortunately during the end of March I was unable to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the Crossing of the Rhine River, and the advance into Germany, nor was I able to comment upon the Ardennes campaign in the winter of 1944-45 - but both those events will, Lord Willing, be posted on my blog on their 75th Anniversary in 2019 - 2020.
        However, Friday of this week is the 70th Anniversary of VE Day, meaning 'Victory in Europe Day', May 8th, 1945.  German forces surrendered on May 5th and war on the European front officially ceased on May 8th.  The war was not yet over - in the Pacific, conflict with Japan still raged - but the Nazi threat in Europe had finally been defeated.  British, Canadian, American, and other Allied forces rejoiced that the conflict which had brought so much destruction and death to the world was over.  
Victory Celebrations in Toronto, Canada

                In some places troops who had been fighting up to the previous day were too exhausted and relieved to do anything other than rest and quietly celebrate victory on the ground they had sacrificed for the previous day.  On the other hand, civilians filled the streets cheering and thanksgiving ceremonies were held in cities and towns from London, England, and Paris, France, to Toronto, Canada, and New York, United States.
        On this 70th Anniversary of VE-Day the celebrations will be no less.  In Britain, a Memorial Service at the Military Cenotaph on May 8th will be followed by a concert on Saturday remembering the events nearly 70 years ago.  While I cannot speak for anyone but myself, I hope that you too will at the very least remember the sacrifices of those who gave their lives so we can now live in a time of comparative peace and freedom.

        "I say that in the long years to come not only will the people of this island but of the world, wherever the bird of freedom chirps in human hearts, look back to what [has been] done and they will say "do not despair, do not yield to violence and tyranny, march straightforward and die if need be - unconquered." ~ Winston Churchill

Written and Posted by William A Moore

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