Reminincences of VE Day:

50th Anniversary

					    -- Janet MacKay	

Never has so much owed by so many, to so few.

"An informed mind is the only shield against tyranny," said John Knox, the renowned Scottish preacher. Speaking to this truth on Sunday May 7th (the day before VE Day; 50th Anniversary), The Revd. John Pace recalled what the world faced during World War II: "Not peace at any price; reality must be taken into account."

WWII was the war of good against evil, perhaps the greatest conflict in recorded history. It was, in essence and truth, a war against Satanic powers, said Peter Mansbridge on CBC News. At great human cost, the good side won.

The Revd. Carey Harvey, speaking to "As It Was" during an Inter Faith Service at All Saints Cathedral (Halifax) on the eve of VE Day, recalled a note that had been slipped to his father while delivering the Sunday morning sermon at a Baptist church in Glasgow, Scotland. The word had come that England was at War, which he paused to share with the concerned congregation.
{ in 1999, from the standpoint of an erstwhile Glaswegian, I have to wonder what the reaction of the congregation was .. perhaps, "England? whit's news aboot that .... we've aye been at war wi' those folk." A.G. McKay (ed.) }

During the VE Day memorial services at the Centopath in Ottawa, Canada, it was noted that WW II began in autumn, continued through six long winters of death, and ended in the spring.

If VE Day could be described with one word, that word would be JOY. Yet, for the servicemen who had come through the war and were now rejoicing in finally going back home, there was intense grief and sadness.

Many of their friends and comrades with whom they had faced, endured and conquered the horror of situations we cannot even fathom; many of these friends would not be returning with them. "We must remember them at the going down of the sun, and in the morning," the veterans said. "If we forget them, we lose everything."

Could there be a dry eye, an umoved spirit, watching Queen Elizabeth II of England as she lit the beacon in London; the lighting of the beacon in northern Ireland, on Calton Hill in Edinburgh and on the highest mountain in Wales? Or, while watching while TV cameras came back to show distance shots of these beacons, replicas of beacons used as signals from the days of the Armada. Can anyone forget the moment, when the young cadets who had shared the work of carrying every stick of wood for the beacon in Wales up the steep inclines of that mountain, came forward in ceremony and saluted. Then, requested permission to light that beacon. Or the wise, glowing motherly kind look on the face of Queen Elizabeth as she voiced the word (via TV networks), "Yes."

The veterans are now seniors in the autumn of their lives. Many will be absent at the 75th Anniversary of VE Day. Let us keep a beacon burning in our memory to their memory, at the going down of the sun and in the rising morning sun, to never forget their sacrifice and the sacrifice of their comrades, who remained behind in graves in European soil.

At the going down of the sun,
And in the morning,
We will remember them.

The Revd. John Pace delivered his morning sermon to congregation of
St. David's Presbyterian Church, Halifax, Nova Scotia (Canada)

Copyright (C) 1995; Janet MacKay, B.R.E., B.Sc.
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