History of VE-Day: End of WWII in Europe 79 Years Ago

front page ve day

HISTORY OF VE-DAY Seventy-nine years ago today, World War II ended in Europe with the Allies accepting the unconditional surrender from Germany on VE-Day. Or did it?   May 7, 1945, VE-Day Adolf Hitler had committed suicide in his Berlin bunker a week earlier on April 30, 1945, as I describe in my article on…

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History of the Liberation of Dachau, Part 2: April 30, 1945

Dachau gate

HISTORY OF THE LIBERATION OF DACHAU: APRIL 30, 1945. Part 2 In Part 1, I discussed the Nazi Concentration Camps and the initial movement of US Army divisions into Dachau.   Dachau: The Camp As my father and the 42nd “Rainbow” Division moved into the Dachau Concentration Camp, of the 32,000 survivors still alive in…

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History of the Liberation of Dachau: April 29, 1945

History of the Liberation of Dachau

HISTORY OF THE LIBERATION OF DACHAU: APRIL 29, 1945 I remember what my father had told me of his involvement in the liberation of Dachau shortly before he died in 1976. Some of his war buddies discovered the tribute site I’d created for him and called or emailed me to recount stories I’d not known…

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History of Christmas Eve and the Battle of the Bulge: 79 Years Ago

Snow Fighters

HISTORY OF CHRISTMAS EVE AND THE BATTLE OF THE BULGE: 79 YEARS AGO On Christmas Eve, 1944, my father, Staff Sergeant John Petro, entered the frontline at Strasbourg with the 42nd “Rainbow” Infantry Division in 20-degree weather. Eight days earlier, the Battle of the Bulge had begun. The 42nd Division, along with others, supplied much-needed…

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History of the Gettysburg Address

Lincoln at Gettysburg

HISTORY OF THE GETTYSBURG ADDRESS Abraham Lincoln, on this day in history, began his address in Gettysburg: Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. With only nine more sentences, he dedicated a…

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History of Veterans Day

Veterans Day Poppy

Veterans Day used to be called Armistice Day, commemorating the ending of hostilities on the western front of World War I on November 11, 1918, the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. At 5:45 am on that day, Germany signed the Armistice (truce) in the Forest of Compiegne, and the order was given for a cease-fire later that morning, after four years of war.

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History of Juneteenth: and the Emancipation Proclamation

Juneteenth

HISTORY OF JUNETEENTH: and the Emancipation Proclamation June Nineteenth, or Juneteenth, marks the celebration of the emancipation of African-American slaves in Texas in 1865. While the annual celebration started in Texas the following year in 1866 – and became an official Texas state holiday there in 1980 – this formerly obscure holiday is now observed…

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History of D-Day: 79 Years Ago

D-Day

HISTORY OF D-DAY Why has D-Day captured the imagination of American consciousness for over three-quarters of a century? Seventy-nine years ago, on June 6, 1944, the Allies launched an offensive on the Normandy coast of France to liberate continental Europe from the Nazi German occupation. On Twitter, the hashtag is #DDay79     D-Day was the…

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History of Memorial Day: Why We Fight

John Petro, S.Sgt

HISTORY OF MEMORIAL DAY: WHY WE FIGHT The world is different from two decades ago as we celebrate Memorial Day. We have troops in countries that we didn’t have then, and after 9/11, we now remember why we fight. The History Channel often re-runs the HBO series Band of Brothers, the T.V. adaptation of the…

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History of Veterans Day: Lest We Forget

Veterans Day Poppy

HISTORY OF VETERANS DAY A professor once commented, “We write things down so we can forget them.” Now, of course, this is true in the sense of writing down appointments so we don’t have to worry about missing meetings. But that’s just it; we do forget things. As individuals, we forget things that are important…

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The Passing of Queen Elizabeth II

Elizabeth II

THE PASSING OF QUEEN ELIZABETH II BALMORAL, Scotland, Sept 8 (Reuters) – Queen Elizabeth, Britain’s longest-reigning monarch, the nation’s figurehead and a towering presence on the world stage for seven decades, died peacefully at her home in Scotland on Thursday aged 96. “The death of my beloved Mother, Her Majesty The Queen, is a moment…

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