May 8 this year was the 70th anniversary of perhaps the most momentous day in human history. Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, it came and went with not much of a ripple in the mindset of the average American.
There was a time when May 8, VE-Day – Victory in Europe Day – the day World War II in Europe officially ended, would have dominated the news and the minds of Americans of all ages.
It was a monumental victory against an enemy whose goal was to dominate the free world and who used every grotesque means it could to destroy lives from outright warfare to organized genocide.
They very nearly succeeded. When you look at some of the cold statistics, the victory of the Allied Forces over the Axis powers is even more sobering.
Peace is a word that’s difficult to define. It depends on one’s point of view, which side you’re on and what else is happening in the world.
In this case, as always, cold statistics never tell the whole story. Yes, Hitler was gone and Europe would see the beginning of peace, but it had to deal with the reality that an estimated 60 million people were dead.
Yet the “world” war wasn’t over. While VE-Day, the defeat of Nazi Germany in Europe, was an occasion for celebration, the War in the Pacific raged on. That wouldn’t officially end until after the United States dropped two atom bombs and Japan surrendered. They officially signed the surrender on the U.S.S. Missouri on Sept. 2, 1945 – VJ Day.
For several decades, those two dates, VE Day and VJ Day, were cause for celebration. There were parades and celebrations of the victory over such evil. There were media tributes and books and films.
More importantly, children were taught in school about these momentous dates in our history – the goal being that they have a sense of the value of our freedoms and the great price that was paid by so many to assure it.
Somewhere along the way, we lost it. Ask any young person what VE-Day is. Or VJ-Day.
I’ve tried it; none of them know.
I’ve worked with a lot of young people in my radio and television career, and whenever I’ve ever asked any of them those same questions, their answer is a blank stare.
Whatever was noted about that date this year in mainstream media, it wasn’t enough, given what it commemorates. But unfortunately, it’s reflective of a situation where Americans only know something of the here and now – never mind anything from years gone by.
Blame it on a lousy education system, slacker teachers, bureaucratic intervention or even subversives in the entire government system – but I believe the truth is, we Americans are victims of a giant perfidy – a treacherous intent to blot out history.
It’s clear how it works. If people know the past and remember the positives and negatives, it might make them better citizens today with the guts to stand up to politicians who don’t have our best interests at heart.
George Santayana said it best: “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
Like it or not, that’s exactly what we are doing now.
Look at what the free West faces in the battle against militant Islam.
Listen to their demands – that people convert to Islam, pay a severe tax or be ready to die.
World War II embodied the genocide against the Jews, gypsies, gays, the disabled and others.
We said, “Never again.”
But that’s not true. We allowed the massacres in the Congo, in Rwanda, and now in the Middle East and Africa with the deliberate killings of Christians.
How are we, and the West, dealing with this?
In my opinion, not in any manner that will result in our victory allowing the West to continue to be a haven for freedom for all people.
We don’t identify the enemy. We don’t acknowledge their goals, nor how they will destroy us.
Because of political correctness, we refuse to acknowledge that their goal is a worldwide caliphate – meaning they want the entire world to be under Islam.
If you don’t like it, you will die.
They are more than wiling to die for their cause and more than willing to take as many of us – infidels – with them.
Think suicide bombers.
The closest we faced that strategy was during World War II, when Japanese Kamikaze pilots deliberately flew their planes into our ships and facilities.
The Western mind finds this kind thinking beyond the pale, but we must face reality. Just visit a veterans’ hospital and meet the victims of the current perverse warfare.
What happens if we lose this one?
Consider what British Prime Minister Winston Churchill said to the House of Commons on June 18, 1940, urging his people to fight to the end:
“Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilization. Upon it depends our own British life, and the long continuity of our institutions and our Empire. … [I]f we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science.”
Those words are just as true today.
We’re at the abyss. It’s up to us to defend our freedom and our future.
It’s a big price, but even bigger if we lose.
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