Saturday, June 05, 2004

D-Day and Other Great Days

Tomorrow marks the 60th anniversary of D-day (not the 60-year anniversary of D-Day, as current usage would have it). D-Day was the beginning of the end of World War II. Victory in Europe came on May 8, 1945, less than a year after D-Day. The Japanese announced their surrender on August 14, 1945, although they didn't sign the surrender document until September 2, 1945.

We used to commemorate each anniversary of victory in Europe as V-E Day. Similarly, the anniversary of Japan's surrender was known as V-J Day. Those memorable dates seem to have slipped off the calendar as World War II has faded into the past.

Let us hope that V-E Day and V-J Day are commemorated properly next year when we observe the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II. The men and women of the armed forces paid for victory in Europe and the Pacific with lives, limbs, and lost years. Those warriors who survive to mark the 60th anniversaries of V-E Day and V-J Day should be encouraged to celebrate their victories. The rest of us should celebrate the victorious warriors, living and dead.