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Weekly Address: President Obama – Honoring the 70th Anniversary of V-E Day

The President’s Weekly Address post is also an Open News Thread. Feel free to share other news stories in the comments.

 

From the White HouseWeekly Address

In this week’s address, the President honored the 70th anniversary of V-E Day. On this occasion, we commemorate the Allied victory in Europe during World War II. It is a day to pay tribute to the men and women who decades ago served and sacrificed for the cause of freedom. This was the generation that, by ending the war, literally saved the world, laying a foundation for peace.

The President asked that in addition to commemorating this important anniversary, we honor the men and women in uniform who currently serve our country, and recommit ourselves to the values we share with our allies in Europe and beyond: freedom, security, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law around the world.

Transcript: Weekly Address: Honoring the 70th Anniversary of V-E Day

Hello, everybody.  Today marks an historic anniversary-70 years since the Allied victory in Europe during World War II.  On V-E Day after the Nazi surrender, people swarmed the streets of London and Paris and Moscow, and the cloud of fear that had hung for so many years finally lifted. Here at home, from small towns to Times Square, crowds gathered in celebration, singing and dancing with joy.  There would still be three more months of deadly fighting in the Pacific.  But for a few hours, the world rejoiced in the hope of peace.

General Eisenhower announced the news with little fanfare. “The Mission of this Allied Force,” he said, “was fulfilled.”  But his simple message belied the extraordinary nature of the Allied victory-and the staggering human loss.  For over five years, brutal fighting laid waste to an entire continent.  Mothers, fathers, children were murdered in concentration camps.  By the time the guns fell silent in Europe, some 40 million people on the continent had lost their lives.  

Today, we pay tribute to all who served.  They were patriots, like my grandfather who served in Patton’s Army-soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, coast guard, merchant marines-and the women of the WACs and the WAVES and every branch.  They risked their lives, and gave their lives so that we, the people the world over, could live free.  They were women who stepped up in unprecedented numbers, manning the home front, and-like my grandmother-building bombers on assembly lines.

This was the generation that literally saved the world-that ended the war and laid a foundation for peace.

This was the generation that traded in their uniforms for a college education so they could marry their sweethearts, buy homes, raise children and build the strongest middle class the world has ever known.



This was the generation that included heroes like the Tuskegee Airmen, the Navajo Code Talkers and the Japanese-Americans of the 442nd Regiment-and who continued the fight for freedom here at home, expanding equality and opportunity and justice for minorities and women.

We will be forever grateful for what these remarkable men and women did, for the selfless grace they showed in one of our darkest hours.  But as we mark this 70th anniversary, let’s not simply commemorate history.  Let’s rededicate ourselves to the freedoms for which they fought.

Let’s make sure that we keep striving to fulfill our founding ideals-that we’re a country where no matter who we are or where we’re from or what we look like or who we love, if we work hard and take responsibility, every American will have the opportunity to make of our lives what we will.

Let’s stand united with our allies, in Europe and beyond, on behalf of our common values-freedom, security, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law around the world-and against bigotry and hatred in all their forms so that we give meaning to that pledge: “Never forget. Never again.”

Bolding added.

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19 comments

  1. Let’s make sure that we keep striving to fulfill our founding ideals-that we’re a country where no matter who we are or where we’re from or what we look like or who we love, if we work hard and take responsibility, every American will have the opportunity to make of our lives what we will.

  2. Diana in NoVa

    We did get some sense of what it was like from the news at noon and pictures my DC-dwelling friends posted on Facebook.

    My husband was a boy of nine when England declared war on Germany. He and his older brother Jack were evacuated to the countryside. When their mother, on a visit a couple of months later, saw that her children had lice, she was outraged. War or no war, back they went with her on the train to London. My mother-in-law was a very clean woman who kept an immaculate house. To make ends meet, she went out charring for her richer neighbors.

    My father fought in World War II, as did several of my uncles. World War II is of course the war the interests me the most, although in the last few years I’ve been reading about the first world war, the so-called “Great War.” Visiting Ypres (now Ieper) and the museum at Passchendaele made me reel from the wanton slaughter of millions of men–men from all parts of the British Empire, from Australians to Kiwis to Gurkhas. From time to time I read the WWI poets. To my great interest, I recently learned that the poet Alan Seeger, who wrote the poem, “I have a rendezvous with death” was related to Pete Seeger the folk singer.

    Mentioning Alan Seeger reminds me of my father, who occasionally would march through our apartment, reciting:

    I have a rendezvous with death

    At midnight in some flaming town

    When spring trips north again this year.

    And I to my pledged word am true:

    I shall not fail that rendezvous.

    He would almost shout the second line and on reaching the fourth line would sink his voice dramatically, almost whispering the last line. It definitely made an impression. :)

  3. Yesterday President Obama visited South Dakota. He is one of only 4 presidents who visited every state during his presidency.

    Behind the Lens: Photographing the President in 50 States by Pete Souza, Chief Official White House Photographer :

    This week, the President will visit South Dakota, marking the 50th state he has visited during his administration. As such, it’s also my 50th state with him.

    To mark the occasion, I chose one photograph from each state that we’ve visited.

    This was not as easy as I thought it would be. With help from photo editor Phaedra Singelis, I tried to depict a variety of situations. Some are more lighthearted; some are sad, and some are poignant. Some are with the Vice President; some are with the First Lady, and a couple are with the entire family. A selection of photos are centered on policy, and others on politics. Some focus on the President as Commander-in-Chief - others on his role as consoler for the nation.

    Here is the first one, Alabama:

    And the last one, Wyoming:

  4. More jobs, lagging pay: Rosier labor market still has families struggling

    The U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 5.4 percent in April – almost half the 10.2 percent peak of October 2009, according to the Labor Department’s jobs report that was released Friday. The report shows that employers added 223,000 jobs in April, a significant tick up from the 85,000 added in March.

    But despite the rosier economic outlook, for many employees in the workforce, an increasing number of those jobs aren’t offering sufficient compensation to sustain a family – highlighting decades of virtual stagnation in wage incomes.[…]

    The median income has been more-or-less stagnant for more than 25 years. In 1988, the median U.S. household income was about $52,000 (adjusted). And that’s exactly where it remained in 2013 (the last year for which such figures are available), according to U.S. Census Bureau.

  5. Steve King Blames Obama for Inciting Baltimore Riots

    Asked point-blank if he blames Obama for the violent demonstrations, King hesitated for a few seconds before responding clearly in the affirmative. “I’ll say yes,” he said. “The culture has created that because they drove that culture in Ferguson and it multiplied itself in Baltimore and across the country.”

    He claimed that a “different president” could “heal us together” by going on television and saying, “Listen, God created all of us, and we cannot discriminate against people based upon the distinction that he’s given each of us.”

    ::: head asploded :::

  6. This is what happens when there are 4 people splitting the “mainstream” Republican vote.

    Not sure is also viable.  

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