Victory in Europe Day

An important day in history

In the pantheon of obscure or non-mainstream holidays, one that has faded out of public view occurs on May the 8th. Victory in Europe Day has been put on the collective back-burner of America, but nonetheless it is a day that deserves more of a place in the spotlight. While this day is overshadowed by the eventual defeat of Japan, Victory in Europe day was made possible by the sacrifice of Americans in Europe and at home.     

May the 8th, 1945 marked the end of the Second World War in Europe. Berlin had been taken in a monumenta; battle costing the lives of around 80,000 Soviets and 50,000 Germans, and following the suicide of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler, resistance in Germany began to deteriorate, and by the 8th, Hitler’s successor Karl Dönitz approached the Allies (the United States, England, and Soviet Russia) and brokered a ceasefire. While a handful of devoted troops kept fighting, the war in Europe was over- Hitler was dead, the government collapsed, and the army had ceased to function as a cohesive unit. The man and regime that brought the world to its knees for 6 years was finally defeated- and that reason is as good as any to celebrate.

People all over the country sporadically burst into the streets, joyous and clinging to one another singing and flaunting newspapers that declared the war in Europe over. People were ecstatic- and rightfully so, for victory in Europe was a tremendous accomplishment. In less than a year following the landings on the European continent on D-Day, June 6, 1944, the German war machine had been crushed. Democracy and the allies triumphed over evil, although while the USSR was one of the allies, their share of the victory was largely as the result of American material support. Victory in Europe day marked the end of the road for U.S troops, 104,000 of which wouldn’t return alive after the war.

Victory in Europe day is a testament to the sacrifice of the troops who fought and died, in addition to the incredible mobilization of American industry, commerce, and technological innovation. While the allies also deserve their share of the credit, Victory in Europe day is worth celebrating in America and the world abroad, for defeating an odious man and a wicked regime is worth celebrating the world over.