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An Historical and Personal Reflection: May 7, 1945

“The mission of this Allied Force was fulfilled at 0241, local time, May 7th, 1945.”

-With that simple one line Communiqué from General Dwight David Eisenhower advised President Truman that he had just accepted Gen Alfred Jodl, chief of staff at the Wehrmacht, surrender of German Armed forces in Reims. France.

The following day May 8th was declared “VE –Victory in Europe” Day and feelings of jubilation broke every allied city in the world. Even though the allies we still engaged in a death struggle half a world away with the Japanese Empire and the horrors of the battle of Okinawa were still being played out and the Philippines were still not liberated yet.

I remember my father telling me that he was stationed just outside of Paris with the US Army Medical Corps when he heard of the news of the German surrender. He told me there was more of a feeling in his army company of relief and gratitude for having made it through the experience of 20 months serving in Europe safely than of jubilation, This feeling later turned into apprehension of the thought of possibly being shipped out to the Pacific Theatre for the anticipated invasion of Japan. My mother at the time was working in a defense plant in New Jersey as a production line inspector in the production of bomber bomb sites hoping that her friends would be coming home soon and that her brother serving in the US Navy in Okinawa area would come home safe.

There aren’t many of the 16 million American veterans and those who served on the home front of the second world war left to see the upcoming 65th anniversary of its ending, indeed 90% of this cherished Generation have already passed into their eternal glory and reward including my beloved parents. They have been added to the pantheon of the two other ‘greatest” American generations: The revolutionary war generation which included our Nations founders, some of the greatest political philosophers in History, and the Civil War Generation who shed there blood in huge numbers to bind our nation together and to truly affirm that “all men are created equal”

The simple Communiqué that General Eisenhower issued 65 years ago reflects the simple Dignity of which most of the World War Two generation lived, loved , protected and Built this country over the succeeding decades. Now that they are leaving us it will be difficult for us not having them as the ideal iving example of what it is to be a true American should be .

I fear that we have forgotten because of our wealth, success, and indifference and The failure of our society in the last generation to teach our children our history And respect for the constitution that previous generations fought & died to uphold And thus lose the freedoms and even our republic as we have loved it.

Some historians have broken down the stages that almost all great nations pass through:

“The first stage from bondage to spiritual faith. The second from spiritual faith to great courage. The third stage moves from great courage to liberty. The fourth stage moves from liberty to abundance. The fifth stage moves from abundance to selfishness. The sixth stage moves from selfishness to complacency. The seventh stage moves from complacency to apathy. The eighth stage moves from apathy to moral decay. The ninth stage moves from moral decay to dependence. And the tenth and last stage moves from dependence to bondage.”

I pray that we do not forget the lessons of history and that we have a rebirth Of the ideas of individual liberty, Self Reliance and a spiritual revival before its too late, after all we owe it to the passing parents & grandparents of World War Two Generation And the great generations of American Patriots that proceeded them.

Just my opinion-D.B.

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