Victory in Europe marked the beginning of oppression for Europeans trapped behind the Iron Curtain: Pompeo
President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump laid a wreath at the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. today to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day (V-E Day) that marks the end of World War II. Seven World War II veterans, ages 96 to 100, joined them at the ceremony.
Seventy-five years ago Nazi German troops throughout Europe unconditionally surrendered to the Allied Powers spelling the end of a global war that started in 1939 with the German invasion of Poland and claimed the lives of 60 to 80 million people.
“Today, we celebrate the forces of freedom who defeated tyranny … we pay tribute to those served for their service and pause to remember those who gave their last full measure in defense of the flames of liberty,” Trump said in his message on the 75th anniversary of V-E Day.
During the commemoration ceremony, President Trump and the First Lady paused and stood silently in front of the Freedom Wall, which features over 4,000 sculpted gold stars, each representing 100 Americans who lost their lives at war, and an inscription saying, “Here we mark the price of freedom.” During WWII, the gold star symbolized family sacrifice.
“The campaign to end fascism in the European Theater is a somber reminder of the price of freedom,” Trump said in his remarks.
He also paid tribute to more than 2 million Americans deployed to fight in Europe, the Mediterranean, and North Africa. He said: “Most of these selfless and heroic warriors had never known life in a prosperous America. They grew up during the Great Depression. … Yet, they answered our countrys call of duty because they believed in the principles that lie at the foundation of our Nation.”
End of WWII Day Did Not Bring Freedom to All Europe
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement marking the 75th anniversary of V-E Day that for many people who found themselves behind the Iron Curtain as a result of WWII “the end of the war marked the start, or continuation, of a different kind of oppression.” Only after the fall of the Iron Curtain, more people were able to enjoy freedom, he added.