|Spirit of American Youth Rising from the Sea|
Omaha Beach cemetery, Normandy, France
Memorial Day 2016 calls on all Americans this year with particular significance,. It calls on us to look backward at our past and forward to our future as our nations makes its selection about its next Commander in Chief.
Just last year we celebrated the 70th anniversary of the end World War II, the worst war in human history. Americans like lieutenant Dick Winters of the 101st Airborne parachuted into Normandy over seventy years ago in Operation Overlord. In the Spring of 1945 American soldiers would be discovering the horrors of the Nazi concentration camps. After Eisenhower visited Ohrdruf Concentration Camp that 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.”
|Eisenhower Statue, Grosvenor Square, London, UK|
Just over 400,00 mostly young Americans would never return from their duties in the Second World War. Some Americans will pay a visit to cemeteries such as Arlington in Virginia and many more around the nation. Many who paid the ultimate price are, however, buried overseas in twenty-four different overseas cemeteries in eleven different countries.
Throughout its history Europe has been a blood-soaked continent. Two World Wars scarred the 20th century. The Napoleonic Wars raged on and off for over 15 years. The Hundred Years War between France and England actually lasted for 116 years.
After World War II ended the Americans stayed in bases across Europe. The Marshall Plan helped to rebuild the shattered economies of post war Europe. In 1946 Winston Churchill warned of an “Iron Curtain” that had descended on Eastern Europe. NATO was founded in 1949 to confront the challenge of Communism.
In 1989 the Cold War finally ended and the Berlin Wall came down. The defeat of Fascism and Communism was only possible because of the sacrifice of American servicemen and women.
Since 1945 Europe has enjoyed a period of peace, interrupted only by the breakup of Yugoslavia, that is unprecedented in its history. This long peace was only possible because of the sacrifice of those servicemen and women that we honor on Memorial Day. Europe and America has benefitted from a historically unprecedented peace.
|9/11 Memorial, NY, NY|
Americans in 2016 confront many dangers. In the middle east we must face the challenge posed by ruthless ISIS operatives who have waged a war against people and even against history itself. The Syrian Civil war has claimed over 100,000 lives and created the worst refugee crisis since World War II. Recent attacks in Paris, Brussels and San Bernardino remind us that terrorism remains a threat around the world.
This year we Americans will select a new Commander in Chief. As we go to the polls this November we should reflect upon the need for sound mature judgment in all of our leaders and particularly in our president. Americans must consider that they are choosing an individual who controls the most powerful military in the world and has the power to end life as we know it.
Memorial Day imposes a duty on all Americans to remember the sacrifice of our fallen heroes and to reflect prayerfully on how best we should steer a course through our dangerous and turbulent world.
Thanks San Francisco Chronicle...http://www.sfchronicle.com/opinion/openforum/article/This-Memorial-Day-is-particularly-significant-7951760.php?t=542af3388e7d4f3860&cmpid=twitter-premium
Thanks Real Clear History...http://www.realclearhistory.com/articles/2016/05/27/why_this_memorial_day_is_important_236.html
Thanks Investor's Business Daily...http://www.investors.com/politics/commentary/memorial-days-significance-this-election-year/
Thanks Rise News net...http://risenews.net/2016/05/heres-memorial-day-really-matters-election-year/
Thanks Arizona Republic...http://www.azcentral.com/story/opinion/op-ed/2016/05/27/memorial-day-commander-chief/84871794/
Thanks Palm Beach Post...http://www.mypalmbeachpost.com/news/news/opinion/point-of-view-the-memorial-day-significance-this-e/nrWRM/
Thanks Herald and News...http://www.heraldandnews.com/members/forum/wire_commentary/the-significance-of-memorial-day-in-this-election-year/article_79726e6f-f819-5999-a414-86a444cf642b.html
Thanks Lima News...http://limaohio.com/opinion/columns/184367/column-election-year-significance-of-memorial-day
Thanks Tribune Review...http://triblive.com/opinion/featuredcommentary/10498655-74/war-americans-memorial
Thanks Las Cruces Sun News...http://www.lcsun-news.com/story/opinion/2016/05/29/significance-memorial-day-election-year/85145916/
Thanks Daily Globe...http://www.dglobe.com/opinion/columns/4042437-column-memorial-day-takes-significance-election-year
Thanks Times and Democrat...http://thetandd.com/news/opinion/editorial/memorial-day-significance-amid-election/article_07d9a5bc-ad54-51b3-b0b3-557d66ffd606.html
Thanks Florida Today...http://www.floridatoday.com/story/opinion/columnists/guest-columns/2016/05/30/memorial-days-significance-election-year/85056122/
Christopher Kelly is the co-author of America Invades and Italy Invades. Signed copies of his books can be found here...