REMEMBERING VE DAY: 1945-2014 – 69 Years of European Freedom

Victory in Europe Day, generally known as V-E Day or VE Day, was the public holiday celebrated on 8 May 1945 (7 May in Commonwealth realms) to mark the formal acceptance by the Allies of World War II of Nazi Germany’s unconditional surrender of its armed forces. It thus marked the end of World War II in Europe.

Upon the defeat of Germany (Italy having already surrendered), celebrations erupted throughout the Western world. From Moscow to Los Angeles, people cheered. In the United Kingdom, more than one million people celebrated in the streets to mark the end of the European part of the war. In London, crowds massed in Trafalgar Square and up The Mall to Buckingham Palace, where King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, accompanied by Prime Minister Winston Churchill, appeared on the balcony of the Palace before the cheering crowds. Princess Elizabeth (the future Queen Elizabeth II) and her sister Princess Margaret were allowed to wander incognito among the crowds and take part in the celebrations.

In the United States, the victory happened on President Harry Truman’s 61st birthday. He dedicated the victory to the memory of his predecessor, Franklin D. Roosevelt, who had died less than a month earlier, on 12 April. Flags remained at half-mast for the remainder of the 30-day mourning period. Truman said of dedicating the victory to Roosevelt’s memory and keeping the flags at half-mast that his only wish was “that Franklin D. Roosevelt had lived to witness this day.” Massive celebrations also took place in Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, and especially in New York City’s Times Square. (Source: Wikipedia)

THE BATTLE OF THE BULGE IN THE ARDENNES

The Battle of the Bulge (16 December 1944 – 25 January 1945) was a major German offensive campaign launched through the densely forested Ardennes region of Wallonia in Belgium, France and Luxembourg on the Western Front toward the end of World War II in Europe. The surprise attack caught the Allied forces completely off guard and became the costliest battle in terms of casualties for the United States, whose forces bore the brunt of the attack. It also severely depleted Germany’s war-making resources. (Source: Wikipedia)

The image below depicts the following: (from left to right)
A US soldier looking out at a battlefield in the Battle of the Bulge
The Ardennes American Cemetery
The Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery and Memorial

Belgian Beer Journal is humbled and honored to take this opportunity to remember the greatest generation who gave all… who sacrificed their lives, so we could live free. We salute you!

LINK: STARS AND STRIPES- American Cemeteries in Belgium: U.S. fallen from WWII rest in honored glory

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