Today marks the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day (VE Day). The end of the Nazi war machine in WWII. From History.com:
“The eighth of May spelled the day when German troops throughout Europe finally laid down their arms: In Prague, Germans surrendered to their Soviet antagonists, after the latter had lost more than 8,000 soldiers, and the Germans considerably more; in Copenhagen and Oslo; at Karlshorst, near Berlin; in northern Latvia; on the Channel Island of Sark—the German surrender was realized in a final cease-fire. More surrender documents were signed in Berlin and in eastern Germany.”
Citizens across the U.S. took to the streets and rejoiced. The scene in New York City was particularly jubilant. Newspaper headlines reflected the moment. As I read articles and social media posts today, I can’t help but imagine what my twitter feed would look like filled with iconic images of VE Day rolling out in real time. #VEDay would be trending. History unfolding 140 characters at a time. Special correspondent Tom Rowley describes how the news would have been rolled out in the eyes of the Brits.
More than 16 million Americans served in WWII. More than 400,000 lost their lives. Today, Washington D.C. is preparing for an anniversary pass over with more than two dozen WWII aircraft to honor those who served and to celebrate the anniversary of the end of the war in Europe. As the grandson of a WWII veteran from the 1264th Combat Engineer Battalion (and overall history nerd), I look forward to watching the tribute. It won’t compare to the energy and significance of 1945, but it will give us a glimpse into the sites and sounds of the greatest generation to call America its home.