Monday, May 10, 2010

Historical Milepost

Over this past week, we have passed the 65th anniversary of VE Day. VE Day was May 8, 1945, the day Germany surrendered, unconditionally, to end the portion of World War II in Europe. Although this brought great celebration throughout much of the world, the war was not over. Japan would fight on another three months, consuming thousands of more lives.

As the following generations lose the Greatest Generation, we also appear to be losing the remembrance of the events of WWII. I am sure there were some stories, but I did not hear of one single mention of the anniversary of VE Day. This was one of the largest, historical events in modern time.

Why do you suppose the media seems to have completely ignored May the 8th? I have some ideas: 1-They were too busy celebrating Cinco de Mayo. 2-To remind the public of this history changing event would be to focus on the greatness of what America and her military helped accomplish. This is counter-agenda for the Left and in their minds, is best left unmentioned.

For my part, I cannot express the depth of gratitude that I feel for those who fought for our country.

Over the past couple months I have been watching the new HBO series, "The Pacific". This is a ten-part story of the island warfare during WWII. It has been absolutely unbelievable watching what those men endured. It is based on true stories and follows a few Marines through the war. If you want to build your appreciation for the US military veterans, watch this series. I will offer a warning, it is violent and very gruesome.

The first couple episodes dealt with the introduction and the battle for Guadalcanal. This was an island that most Americans had never heard of before. Yet, we landed on its beaches and left the blood of 2,261 Americans soaking in the sand and mud.

At the end of this battle, as the survivors were leaving on a troop transport ship, a man working in the kitchen asked four of them, "How bad was it?" He got no answer and turned to walk away. One Marine raised his head and asked him if he had ever heard of Guadalcanal. He answered that everyone back in the states has heard of Guadalcanal. It is on the front page of every paper. He then told the Marines, "You are all heroes".

I instantly had a mental response to that declaration, when I heard it in a TV show that only showed bits and pieces of battles during two episodes describing a weeks-long engagement with the enemy. My thought, "Who wants to be a hero?" If that is what it takes to be a hero, no one in their right mind would want to reach the goal.

None of us who have not been engaged in heavy battle can comprehend what it must be like. It is no wonder that many come home and do not talk about their experiences. It is not that they have forgotten, but it is that they can never forget. They have not gotten "over it", but have learned to bury it somewhere, hoping that it will never raise its ugly head and bring back a flood of emotions that cannot be controlled 65 years later.

What is our job? Never forget what they did for all of us and never stop showing appreciation for their sacrifice. God bless each and every one of them!

1 comment:

  1. What an amazing thing that there is anybody willing to SIGN UP for this kind of risk and these kinds of traumatic experiences. Like I say to Mark, I'm just glad there are people willing to fight for our country so that he and I don't have to, and that as much as I love my country, I can't imagine suffering and dying for it. I guess I better be extra-grateful that there are people who are and have done so on my behalf!!