The European phase of World War II ended officially on 07 May 1945 in a red school building at Reims, France, when Col. Gen. Alfred Jodl signed the document of unconditional surrender in behalf of the German High Command. European Allied Commander Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower’s chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Walter B. Smith, signed for the Allies. The free world celebrated 08 May as V-E (Victory in Europe) Day. In a ceremony in Berlin on 09 May, the surrender terms were ratified. It would be another three months to the day when the second of the United States’ atomic bombs was dropped on Nagasaki, Japan, for all practical purposes ending World War II on all fronts. The document comprised of the final terms of unconditional surrender was signed on the battleship USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay on 02 September 1945 when Gen. Of the Army Douglas MacArthur signed for the Allies and Foreign Minister Mamoru Shigemitsu signed for Japan.
On this the 60th anniversary of the ending of the war in Europe, there is reason of incomprehensible magnitude to be thankful that the Allies gained the victory. In a ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda in Washington, D.C., on 06 May 2005, there was a salute to the American troops who liberated the survivors of German treachery in the notoriously inhuman concentration/death camps. Speaking during the ceremony were the granddaughter of Gen. Eisenhower, who made it his business to inspect these hellholes and make sure that there could be no doubt they existed, and Laura Bush, the president’s wife, whose father witnessed them, as well, as did Eisenhower’s son, also an army officer. If Hitler, who died a coward’s death by suicide in Berlin as the city fell around him to the Russians, and his Nazi goons had prevailed, there likely would be no Jews or free people in the world today. Besides enslaving/killing millions of non-Jews, Hitler and his henchmen managed to annihilate one-third of the world’s Jewish population.
Japanese treachery in Asia during the 30s-40s, culminating in Pearl Harbor in December 1941 and then ending in Tokyo in 1945 is a well-documented exercise in bloody debauchery. If the Japanese had been successful, the mind is boggled in attempting to comprehend the state of affairs in the world today. Needless to say, on the evidence of their animalistic atrocities committed in countries such as Korea and China, the Far East would have been bathed in blood. If the Axis powers had succeeded in Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East, and Japan had succeeded in the Far East, the resulting clash of the two titans of terror and inhumanity as each vied with the other to rule the world would have been horrendous, particularly since atomic- and hydrogen-bomb weaponry was coming on line at the time. Neither power would have hesitated to use these weapons, not as the United States did to end WWII and save millions of Americans and Japanese alike, but to aggressively seek the annihilation of whole populations in the effort to “have it all,” enslaving all surrendering peoples, if any, left standing.
Thus is fast ending the chapter on what Tom Brokaw labeled the “Greatest Generation,” that group of U.S. citizen-soldiers that literally saved the world 60 years ago from unspeakable disaster. There is no doubt that without the United States’ insertion of itself into the WWII conflict, even though it was bordered by thousands of miles of ocean east and west, a peaceful nation on the north and, if not a friendly, at least a weak nation on the south, the Nazis and the Japanese would have prevailed in time, with untold millions dead at their hands and other untold millions in thrall. If these citizen-soldiers and the leaders of this nation had elected to “sit it out,” this country would have been forced later to defend itself against overwhelming odds driving at it from both east and west. Central and South American countries would have been, even if unwillingly, mere tools in the hands of butchers such as Hitler, Mussolini, and Tojo. They would have provided the road from the south over which the Axis and Japanese powers would have attacked this nation relentlessly, perhaps even joining in battle against each other here to see what sanguinary power would ultimately prevail, in the most advanced nation in the world.
It was Jesus who said there would be “wars and rumors of wars.” His assertion has held true to this very day. World War I, the “Great War,” was supposed to be the last conflagration on a world scale – the “war to end all wars.” Less than a generation later, not even a conflict on the scale of World War II could negate the prophecy of Christ. It’s obvious that as long as there are imperfect people there will be wars, the nature of mankind being what it is. There are wars of greater and lesser extent in progress all over the world today, especially in the Middle East and Africa. These small wars, just as was the case with a single incident leading to WWI, can be triggers to set off conflagrations of immense proportions as so-called “powers” and “superpowers” use them either actively or as proxies to work their will.
Currently, whether using their religion as their activator or not, the threat to world peace comes from the radical Moslems of the Middle East, especially, and from all the areas where Islam dominates as the cultural religion. Featuring mostly ignorant young people with enough gullibility to believe that some sort of paradise awaits the suicide bomber, as was the case with the Japanese kamikaze pilots of WWII, the militant Islamic leaders have chosen terror as their weapon of choice, willing that innocent people, young and old alike, die as “collateral damage” in their insane desire for world domination. Witness the events of 9/11/01 and multitudes of others since then. The bombers themselves are expendable, amounting to no more than an insect to be batted to death. Attempts by sadists such as Saddam and Osama bin Laden at winning through attrition they think endemic to civilized peoples’ unwillingness to “fight the inevitable” and shed their own blood will not prevail. Greater powers will have enough of their bloodletting eventually and will effect a remedy using whatever means necessary up to and including the decimating of cities, as in the case of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
There will never be peace…at least universal peace. These verses paint the picture relative to the brave men/women of 60 years ago, and since, with regard to other wars Americans have fought and other wars Americans inevitably WILL fight to preserve a civil and decent way of life:
Fast pouring from the silent depths of graveyards far and wide,
They came in hordes from granite rows in cities, countryside,
They came from where they were unmarked, but buried namelessly,
They came, as well, from ocean tides, from deep beneath the sea.
And as they rose and marched again in cadences…just so,
Their booted rhythm formed the beat for voices sad and low
To chant the mantra of the brave, the ones who gave their all,
Then loudly shout back toward their graves that none should live in thrall.
And as they looked back toward the earth they saw it bathed in blood,
They saw the places where they fell…in crimson, blackened mud,
They saw the oceans turned to red…where they had fought and bled,
They saw the people, blood-washed free…and knew why they were dead.
And on they marched, that multitude, in perfect left and right,
And sang an anthem of the free as they went out of sight,
But, when they were no longer there, the air grew still and chilled –
The feel of an impending doom…when graves again are filled.