Thursday, August 16, 2012

WWII Ended 67 Years Ago

I was surprised when I missed the date.  67 years ago in 1945 on August 15, the Japanese signed the documents of surrender and ended the conflict which saw the most horrific weapons mankind has ever produced unleashed on the world. 

Normally this date is one I like to commemorate not only for the end of the war, but to remind myself how destructive we humans can be.  The coup de grâce of the conflict was the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki with the only two atomic bombs ever used in a military conflict.  Once the world saw the death and destruction they caused, these weapons have remained unused in actual combat, and for that I thank God.

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It is a sad thing the we don't mark this date anymore in our country.  Not so much with celebration, but with a somber remembrance of all who died and the sacrifices made to end the conflict.

Just in case anyone doesn't know what  a nuclear weapon can do, I added this photo of a mass grave that was hurriedly prepared in Hiroshima as the destruction was being cleaned away.  This is the real face of nuclear weapons, and it is a face that we must never forget.

Also, we must not forget the hubris and blind ambition that started the conflict as well.  Germany and Japan sought to expand their influence and conquer the continents of Europe and Asia.  Their ruthlessness appalled the world.  It is unfortunate that it took an act of equally ruthless destruction to put the final end to the war.

For all those who died, on both sides of the war, it is fitting that we remember them, applaud their bravery and morn for their losses.  Never forget.

"I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity"
General Dwight D. Eisenhower

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