Monday, May 09, 2005

VE Day: Personal Files

Everyone is giving their two cents about VE-Day, which is cool.

These are my own quick thoughts.

#1. Both of my grandfathers fought in the war. One, on my mother's side, was in the artillery. He took shrapnel in the chest, while accumulating other miscellaneous injuries. He never talked about anything he saw or did afterwards. I can only imagine what he saw.

The other, on my father's side, was stationed in London for the blitz. He weathered the storm, and after Europe was liberated, he was stationed in Paris. Although he never talked about his deeds, others told his tale....

His job in Paris? Keep the troops happy. He managed a hotel (or six, depending on which relative tells the story) for quite a while after the war was over and basically threw the biggest post-war party you could imagine.

I can't imagine a better job: giving the men and women who gave all to defend freedom the party of a lifetime. Keeping them happy. Wow.

#2. While I'm happy that Europe was placated, VE day is somewhat of a premature celebration. This isn't to say it wasn't marvelous and all that, but the war wasn't exactly won. The Japanese were still fighting for a long time afterwards, and horrible war crimes were still being committed. Over a thousand Canadians who were captured in Hong Kong were yet to be freed, and the US was still fully engaged in the Pacific.

VE Day should certainly be celebrated, but it should also be remembered that it wasn't done deal, and many, many people died in WW2 after this date.

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