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VE Day 8 May 1945
Before the House of Commons, 4 June 1940 The new Prime Minster Winston L.S.
"...We shall not flag nor fail. We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in
France and on the seas and oceans; we shall fight with growing confidence
and growing strength in the air. We shall defend our island whatever the
cost may be; we shall fight on beaches, landing grounds, in fields, in
streets and on the hills. We shall never surrender and even if, which I do
not for the moment believe, this island or a large part of it were
subjugated and starving, then our empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded
by the British Fleet, will carry on the struggle until in God's good time
the New World with all its power and might, sets forth to the liberation and
rescue of the Old."
America came. America fought. America gave her son's blood for our freedom.
Marches are, today held throughout France on a public holiday to remember
the European debt to the United States of America and our Empire's children.
On 8 March 1945 the Western Allies, whose chief field commanders were
American Omar N. Bradley and British Bernard Montgomery, crossed the Rhine
and overran Western Germany. German collapse came when the Western and
Russian armies met at Torgau in Saxony 25 April 1945. Hitler suicides in an
evil bunker, even today no grass grows over the fearsome place surrounded by
a housing estate, among the ruins of Berlin, as the Russians under marshals
Zhukov and Konev stormed in came the unconditional surrender of Germany.
The surrender was signed at Reims, France on 7 May and ratified at Berlin on
8 May 1945.
The Prime Minster Winston Churchill spoke to London crowds on 8 May 1945
"My dear friends, this is your hour. This is not victory of a party or of
any class. It's a victory of the great British nation as a whole. We were
the first, in this ancient island, to draw the sword against tyranny. After
a while we were left all alone against the most tremendous military power
that has been seen. We were all alone for a whole year.
There we stood, alone. Did anyone want to give in? [The crowd shouted "No."]
Were we down-hearted? ["No!"] The lights went out and the bombs came down.
But every man, woman and child in the country had no thought of quitting the
struggle. London can take it. So we came back after long months from the
jaws of death, out of the mouth of hell, while all the world wondered. When
shall the reputation and faith of this generation of English men and women
fail? I say that in the long years to come not only will the people of this
island but of the world, wherever the bird of freedom chirps in human
hearts, look back to what we've done and they will say "do not despair, do
not yield to violence and tyranny, march straightforward and die if need
be-unconquered." Now we have emerged from one deadly struggle-a terrible foe
has been cast on the ground and awaits our judgment and our mercy.
But there is another foe who occupies large portions of the British Empire,
a foe stained with cruelty and greed-the Japanese. I rejoice we can all take
a night off today and another day tomorrow. Tomorrow our great Russian
allies will also be celebrating victory and after that we must begin the
task of rebuilding our heath and homes, doing our utmost to make this
country a land in which all have a chance, in which all have a duty, and we
must turn ourselves to fulfil our duty to our own countrymen, and to our
gallant allies of the United States who were so foully and treacherously
attacked by Japan. We will go hand and hand with them. Even if it is a hard
struggle we will not be the ones who will fail."
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