Skip to comments.To our greatest generation who defended freedom
Posted on 08/15/2005 3:30:17 PM PDT by naturalman1975
Prime Minister John Howard, at the VP Day commemorative ceremony at the Australian War Memorial yesterday
EVERY generation paints the past as a simpler, more certain, more innocent time. But let we who are heirs to the sacrifice of a great generation set aside that conceit today. There was nothing simple about the lives of those who won a global war and turned the tide of history. Victory over the evils of Nazism, fascism and militarism could not be certain through dark months of doubt. And innocence offered little to those who died so we could live in peace and freedom. World War II was not just our gravest hour, when Australia was imperilled as never before. It was the hour when, across oceans and continents, the flame of democratic liberty flickered violently and almost went out.
And so we come to this place of solemn remembrance to mark not just a great military victory 60 years ago, but the triumph of a great moral cause. Fate had thrust a heavy responsibility on the World War II generation, whose childhood in the main had already been blighted by the ravages of the Depression. Yet it was a responsibility they accepted with courage and without any illusions.
What makes this generation so remarkable is that it knew what awaited them. It knew what hell on earth could be. A war that was to have ended all wars had cut down the previous generation. And yet, when duty demanded, the next generation risked all.
Why? Because they knew that if they didn't fight for the country they loved and all they held dear, all would be lost . . . Let us never equivocate: this was a good and just war, fought not for conquest but for liberty. Freedom's torch was preserved not just here in Australia but in the Pacific and in Europe, this was a war of liberation which, in a real sense, liberated the people of our once bitter enemies. Australia was part of this struggle from the first day to the last. A nation of seven million people in 1939, we put a million men and women in uniform. Our prisoners of war came face to face with barbarity of a kind that younger generations can scarcely imagine.
Ping for a great article!
John Howard is a great and humble man. If you ever wonder what happened to statesmen leaders..there are still some.
Should make all those Aussies prowd..
He should be the next UN Secy General..now there's a thought. Time to sweep out the crooks and nazi's and commie's...Howard for SGUN.
"A nation of seven million people in 1939, we put a million men and women in uniform."