No, we haven't forgotten. Yes, time has faded a lot of the physical scars...of the wounded soldiers and civilians, of the destroyed cities, towns, villages...the torn, bombed out and scorched earth of Great Britain, Russia, Eastern Europe, Western Europe, the Middle East, Italy and most of that part of the world. The lights have long ago come back on in Europe after those many years of darkness, the Thousand Year Reich but a horrid memory, drifting slowly away on the swirling smoke of memory, thank God.
And at that time, 65 years ago today, we mustn't forget that the World War was in fact not over, not by a long shot. For the many US soldiers and Marines who were at that time fighting a hellish battle against the Japanese on Okinawa, VE Day meant little to nothing. "Their" war was still very much alive and consuming lives at a horrific rate. To them it seemed that this horror would never end until death...their own death. For them, the war would last another 3 months....an eternity to a rifleman.
But for a large part of the world, peace was at hand. A great tragedy was starting to end...the healing could begin...to begin. America, my country, rejoiced...millions of service personel would be coming home..they had survived. And a great many families would look to a peaceful future...without that cherished brother or cousin or father. They were still holding the line at Casino...or in Normandy, at Bastogne or in the Vosges Mountains. Perhaps they were resting peacefully entombed at the bottom of the North Atlantic, a countless victim of the U-Boat menace that now no longer existed. Those families had to find a way to move on...alone, into a very different world.
So as I sit here tonight, I think about all those who served in that war. And those who waited at home for them. How grateful I am that I live in a country that so selflessly gave so many of it's young so that the world could be free. Thank You....