Smoking Trees in Belize: VE Day

Thursday, May 8, 2008

VE Day

Today marks the 63rd
anniversary of Victory in Europe Day, (VE Day) that marked the close of
one front of WWII. The allied forces led by Britain and the U.S.
accepted the Nazi surrender in Berlin, which set off joyous
celebrations across the globe.


VE Day is celebrated by France, the U.S., Britain and others as a
moment to reflect on the tremendous sacrifice borne by each country to
stop the genocide and fascism that threatened the world. Many consider
this the landmark event that closed the bloody history of the second
Great War. However, it is often overlooked that 4 months remained in
the front with Japan, and the bloodiest episode in human warfare had
not yet taken place. The reasons for the overshadowing are likely
numerous, but the notoriety of Hitler and the end of the Holocaust are
paramount. However despite the glorious celebration VE Day deserves,
the day only marks liberation on one continent. In January of 1945 as
Soviet troops were reaching the Nazi camps like Auschwitz, a world away
in California, some Japanese-Americans remained in internment camps.
Although, on January 2, 1945, the Presidential exclusion order was
rescinded entirely, the Supreme Court did not rule the process
unconstitutional until 1944. The lesson is painful, one can reach out
in the spirit of good to help another, yet must not forget about the
health of self.

Japanese-Americans the memories are painful thrice fold; the horror of
the attacks on Pearl Harbor, the ensuing internment camps, and the pain
of Hiroshima, and Nagasaki. Each event giving rise to a different
emotion, Japanese-Americans faced these tragedies with fortitude and