Memorial Day this year calls on all Americans with particular significance. It requires us to look backward at our past and forward to our future as our nation considers its choices for its next commander in chief.
Just last year we celebrated the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, the worst war in human history. Americans like Lt. Dick Winters of the 101st Airborne parachuted into Normandy 72 years ago, in 1944, in Operation Overlord. In the spring of 1945, American soldiers discovered the horrors of the Nazi concentration camps. After Eisenhower visited Ohrdruf concentration camp, which had been liberated by American troops on April 4, he declared: “We are told that the American soldier does not know what he is fighting for. Now at least he will know what he is fighting against.”
Over the course of just under four years, over 16 million American men and women had served in some capacity in the war. Today in 2016, fewer than 1 million WWII vets are still alive.
Just over 400,000 Americans, most of them young, never returned from their duties in World War II. On Memorial Day, Americans will visit cemeteries such as Arlington in Virginia, as well as many more around the nation. Many Americans who paid the ultimate price are, however, buried overseas, in 24 different cemeteries in 11 different countries.Read the rest of this IBD editorial HERE.
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