Remember! 75 years ago, V-E Day, May 8, 1945

Today is V-E (Victory in Europe) Day. 

Seventy-five years ago today, on May 8, 1945, World War II in Europe officially ended, as Germany unconditionally signed a surrender agreement to the United States and Great Britain.  Unconditional.  No apologies to the Germans for winning or regrets for their justified loss.  Unconditional.  And backed up.

On May 8, 1945, both Great Britain and the United States celebrate Victory in Europe Day.  Cities in both nations, as well as formerly occupied cities in Western Europe, put out flags and banners, rejoicing in the defeat of the Nazi war machine during World War II.

The eighth of May spelled the day when German troops throughout Europe finally laid down their arms.  In Prague, Germans surrendered to their Soviet antagonists, after the latter had lost more than 8,000 soldiers, and the Germans considerably more; in Copenhagen and Oslo; at Karlshorst, near Berlin; in northern Latvia; on the Channel Island of Sark — the German surrender was realized in a final ceasefire.  More surrender documents were signed in Berlin and in eastern Germany.

Although most of the commemorative events for this auspicious anniversary have been modified or canceled because of the Wuhan coronavirus-19 crisis such as this flyover, the Library of Congress will honor the occasion utilizing modern technology by hearing from the World War ll veterans themselves.

The library's Veterans' History Project announced Tuesday the launch of "End of World War II: 75th Anniversary," an online collection of video and audio interviews with World War II veterans about their experiences and what the end of the war meant to them.

The library said in a statement that many of the oral histories are being put online for the first time. (snip)

All these stories and more are available at the Library's Experiencing War site.

As the site explains:

75 years ago, the world watched, waited, and finally celebrated as years of war came to an end. As hostilities drew to a close, first with the Allied victory in Europe in May 1945 and then four months later with Japan's surrender in August, American servicemen and women grappled with the reality of postwar life. Though peace was welcome and sweet, the end of the war brought about profound changes and challenges. Here, the Veterans History Project presents a look into the wartime experiences of just a few of the 16 million Americans who served during World War II, and what they confronted at war's end.

Stars and Stripes details  the virtual events of U.S. forces in Europe  honoring the anniversary. 

The Pentagon will go virtual Friday to call attention to the sacrifices on the 75th anniversary of V-E Day.

At U.S. European Command's Patch Barracks headquarters in Stuttgart — a base named after Lt. Gen. Alexander Patch, who led the allied push into southern Germany — public events will also go virtual.

On Friday, Gen. Tod Wolters, EUCOM chief and NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe, will participate in a virtual wreath laying in Belgium.

"On this milestone anniversary of V-E Day, we remember all who resisted behind enemy lines, those who tirelessly worked on farms and in factories to supply and equip the war effort, who fought on land, sea, and in the air," Wolters said in a statement. "We also reflect on the horrors of World War II, the Holocaust, the tremendous destruction, the millions of lives lost which are all solemn reminders of the importance of preserving peace."

Remember: Never forget! Never forgive!

Image credit: Galt Museum & Archives, public domain.