Friday, May 7, 2010

A Time to Remember

On May 8th, 1945, the Allied Forces formally accepted the unconditional surrender of the armed forces of Nazi Germany. On that day more than a million people celebrated in the streets, and for good reason. An evil had been vanquished, an evil that had cost the lives and suffering of millions.
       That vanquishing, that victory had a cost.
        In World War Two, the triumph of freedom over malevolent tyranny and oppression took the effort of millions of men and women, united to fight, to resist, to say “no more –this shall not stand.” It took the courage of conviction, the insistence in enlightened principles, the clutching at hope, the foundations of duty and honor, and action. Unwavering action. Action ultimately carried out by individuals.
        Tomorrow is the 65th Anniversary of V-E Day. 
        I will be participating in a ceremony tomorrow night hosted by the Consul General of France, including diplomats from 5 of the Allied countries and various U.S. political and military officials, gathered to commemorate this historic occasion. It will be a time to remember fallen comrades, honor those that went above and beyond, thank once again surviving Allied veterans and resistance fighters, and also it will be a time to celebrate.
        To celebrate a victory that ensured that the light of freedom continued to shine.
        Can you imagine if those brave souls who gave it their all had lost? What darkness would have befallen our civilization! It would have been a new dark age, filled with suffering, oppression, murder and horror. The most basic concepts of Human Rights would be non-existent, slavery would be the norm, and evil would reign.
        That is no exaggeration.
    Keep this in mind tomorrow, on V-E Day, for it was only 65 years ago that the very concept of freedom and of human right were fought for on a global scale, and many individuals, families, and nations paid a high price for the preservation of these values for future generations.
     As part of tomorrow’s events, the second volume of testimonials to be published by The Memoirs Project will be released. In it we capture for posterity individual stories of pain, bravery, suffering, and heroism. Stories that tell in simple, yet often poignant human terms the individual price paid for freedom.
        As our World War Two veterans and resistance fighters pass into the night, they often take with them their stories.
        We who make up the dedicated volunteers of The Memoirs Project feel it is important for these individual stories to be captured, remembered, and shared amongst our collective consciousness.
        These stories are our past.
        And they can inspire us to shape a better future.

                       William Louis Widmaier
                        Editor In Chief
                        The Memoirs Project

 After helping liberate Paris American soldiers observe as the Tricolor is displayed atop of Eiffel Tower once again.


  1. Breathtaking. Thank you for preserving this invaluable legacy.

  2. The May 8th event went quite well. We had the Consul Generals of France, Belgian, Canada, Poland and the UK speak, as well as the General in charge of the US Air Force Space Command. Four WW2 veterans that were at Omaha Beach were presented with the Legion d'Honneur, Frances highest award. Stephen Salinger, son of famed Pierre Salinger was a brilliant Master of Ceremonies. The Memoirs book was distributed and we ran out of them demand was so strong. Overall a very moving evening with nary a dry eye in the house at times.