Sunday, May 10, 2015

V-E Day: Courage, Honor, Sacrifice

As the world commemorates V-E Day (Victory in Europe Day) on May 8, we must pause and be eternally grateful for the courage, honor, and sacrifices that gave us freedom.

Honoring American Sacrifices

The World War II memorial in our nation's capital honors more than 16 million who served in the Armed Forces during the war, the more than 400,000 who died, and the millions who supported the war effort from the home front.

World War II is understood by many Americans to be the defining event of the 20th century and a decisive time in the history of civilization, therefore the memorial, opened to the public on April 29, 2004 honors the courage, commitment, and cohesiveness of the American people in defending not only our nation but peace, freedom, and liberty from tyranny throughout the world.

The World War II memorial stands as a symbol of the power of America when unity, moral strength, and freedom bond together to serve a just cause. President Franklin D. Roosevelt captured this spirit of America by stating,
"To cope with present dangers, the nation requires a toughness of moral and physical fiber, precisely the characteristics of a free people, a people devoted to the institutions they themselves have built."

FDR was able to rally American's around the flag and to inspire in them a deeply profound devotion to their nation.

The World War II memorial became part of the National Park System on November 1, 2004. Previously, it was part of the American Battle Monuments Commission which operates 24 permanent U.S. cemeteries and 25 memorial structures in 15 countries throughout the world.

Times Square celebration on V-E Day, May 8, 1945. (Photo Credit: Corbis)

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