Friday, May 8, 2009

Lest We Forget

Today is the day we celebrate VE Day. For those of you under 70 or historically disadvantaged, it marks the 64th anniversary of the end of hostilities in Europe. Actually, it was at 5:30 pm on May 7, 1945 that the surrender was accepted but since Americans didn’t get the word until the following day, we use the 8th.

Please notice that I avoid the use of the word “celebrate” in the above paragraph. Was there joy, relief, and finality in the announcement? Yes! But, when one has lost so much to obtain victory it is a bitter sweet outcome. The endless numbers of lives, casualties, both military and civilian, property damage, loss of treasure and perpetual worry over loved ones directly involved are not offset by a signature on a surrender document.

One reason the joy was muted was because it represented only half of the complete end of hostilities. We were still embroiled in a continuing struggle with Imperial Japan which was not to end for an additional three months. When it did arrive, the celebration was noisy, raucous, and in full force. Until then the job, albeit an important one, was only half done.

Those of us who still choke up at the singing of the National Anthem, tear at the sight of “Old Glory” flapping in the wind and have been witness to evil beyond comprehension, hold no shame in the love of this republic and an omnipotent loving God. If this describes you, either through history or experience, please join me this day in a moment of remembrance for those who did not survive to share the joy of this anniversary.

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

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