In-Depth: Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) introduced this resolution to commemorate the 75th anniversary of V-E Day, the end of World War II in Europe, and spoke about it on the Senate floor:
“75 years ago, the scene across America and Europe was quite different than what we see today — thousands of people waving flags, dancing, hugging, kissing in the streets, all covered in confetti. In the early morning hours of May 7, 1945, in the small town of Reims, France, the Supreme Allied Commander, Dwight David Eisenhower, signed Nazi Germany’s surrender and sent a cable to Washington and London that the mission of the Allied forces was fulfilled, thus ending the Nazi pandemic of tyranny and genocide. The surrender took effect on May 8, and for the first time since 1941, the U.S. Capitol was bathed again in light.
Most military historians now agree that it was Eisenhower’s unique skill and persuasion that enabled the Allied effort to be successful. As Winston Churchill said, “There is only one thing worse than fighting with allies and that is fighting without them.” Simply put, Ike led the effort to preserve Western democracy and freedom, and later, as President in 1953, America experienced 8 years of peace and prosperity.”
Roberts told the Mcpherson Sentinel that amid the coronavirus “it’s a good time for people to reflect back to the Greatest Generation, what they did on behalf of their country and their common man.” He added:
“We’re all pulling together, much like we did in World War II. The only place where that is missing, unfortunately, is on Capitol Hill. There shouldn’t be any politics with a pandemic. But it’s gotten way too political. If we could just end this damn politics and all that embodies, and emanate the example of what people were doing during World War II, I think that’s the message.”
This legislation has the support of 32 bipartisan cosponsors.
Of Note: World War II in Europe began on September 1, 1939, when Nazi Germany invaded Poland, and the U.S. became officially involved in the war in Europe on December 11, 1941, after Nazi Germany declared war on the U.S. following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor four days earlier. Nazi Germany was defeated by the U.S. and its Western allies securing shipping lanes across the Atlantic and pushing the Germans out of North Africa and Italy, before invading France and pushing into Germany from the west; while the Soviet Union rolled back Nazi gains in the east. More than 200,000 Americans were killed in the European Theater of Operations during World War II, including 104,812 between June 1944 and May 8, 1945.
After the surrender documents were signed in Reims, France, Supreme Allied Commander in Europe Dwight D. Eisenhower, sent a concise & straightforward one-sentence message to Army Chief of Staff George Marshall to notify him of the surrender. In a radio address, Eisenhower said victory was achieved because soldiers’ “record of gallantry, loyalty, devotion to duty and patient endurance” and “the devoted efforts of thousands laboring in the services of supply” were “welded together into one engine of avenging power — to the dismay and destruction of our enemies.”
Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Army Signal Corps via Wikimedia / Public Domain)