VE Day: 2020

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  • Author Randy Daniel
  • Published May 27, 2020
  • Word count 1,109

VE Day, 2020

By Randy Daniel

Today is May 8, 2020. 75 years ago, today, World War II ended in Europe. It was a war that lasted 2,319 days and resulted in 40 million casualties on both sides.

America played the primary role in fighting the common enemy of that war ... a war that was fought on battlefields more than 3,532 miles from its largest city. The end of the European theater of the Second World War was celebrated in cities across Europe, Great Britain, and the United States. The date was May 8, 1945.

It is known as VE Day.

But, there are no grand celebrations of the victory 75 years later, for the world is at war once again. We are engaged in a war not against a group of belligerent countries, but a war against a microscopic virus. It is a world war that has followed in the footsteps of the Second World War. We are in the early stages this world war ... but we are far from claiming victory.

The current generation of world leadership is leading their respective countries in an effort to defeat this common enemy. Donald Trump is no exception; he claims to be a "wartime president" but seems to have wavered in his self-proclaimed role. If the headman wavers, so does his wartime policies.

And, that's no way for America to fight and win a war.

His part time leadership sets a dangerous precedent; it has far-reaching ramifications. Our citizens are not united in a common cause ... the defeat of this common enemy. If we do not recognize the enemy, or are in disbelief that we are even fighting an enemy, then how can we rise up as a people and defeat it?

We cannot.

We are not using the weapons at our disposal to fight and defeat this common enemy. Wars have been fought throughout history with everything from rocks, to bows and arrows, to atomic bombs. However, the weapons we need to fight this latest world war are quite different. A biological test, social distancing, soap and water, a simple face mask, and a united citizenry are the current weapons available to us for use in this war ... yet the majority of Americans refuse to use them.

Therefore, this enemy is busy spreading throughout our country, virtually unchecked. It is poised for a second attack. Hit 'em hard, and hit 'em when they least expect it. Wars have been fought by countless armies using this tactic for thousands of years. The Covid-19 virus is not an army, per se, but it is our enemy. It behaves like an invading army would behave in time of war.

We have dropped our guard. We're tired of social distancing, we're not going to be tested, we're not going to wear masks, and we're not going to wash our hands unless they are physically dirty. Some have said there's nothing to this coronavirus ... it’s just a souped up case of the flu or the common cold ... it’s a political conspiracy engineered to defeat our 45th president ... or, it's a hoax.

But, 76,948 dead Americans would beg to differ.

The virus is poised and waiting ... waiting to launch a second offensive. And, as anyone who has ever studied the art of war knows quite well that second offensives usually result in an enemy gaining the upper hand ... until a counteroffensive is launched by the side who has been attacked ... if they can launch one.

The side that was attacked in the second offensive will try to regain their lost ground ... if they cannot regain that lost ground, they will probably go down in defeat.

World War II was five years, eight months, and six days in duration. My dad was a veteran of that war. He served as a member of the Fifth Army in Italy from September of 1943 to November of 1945.

As Americans, we are currently fighting a world war that is far different from World War II. For Americans of that era, World War II took place on the other side of the world. They read about it in the papers and followed it on the radio. The battles were fought "over there." And, the "home front" was safe from invasion by the common enemy.

But, our war is different. Our war is being fought here on the "home front." It is being fought in cities and hometowns across this country from New York, to New Orleans, to Los Angeles, to Seattle, and everywhere in between.

The United States has been invaded by a common enemy.

World War II ended in Europe 75 years ago today, but the war against Covid-19 is far from over. It will continue to be fought on battlefields on the home front across America and on home fronts the world over for months or years to come. The ultimate weapon, a vaccine against this virus, is probably 18 months away. Until then, all we can do is continue to fight this war with the weapons we have at our disposal.

We are fighting a relentless enemy. None of us is safe. We could go to Walmart today and die within two weeks.

One day, millions of us will be veterans of this war, but sadly, some of us will not live to see the day our leaders proclaim victory against this common enemy. We are at war against a common enemy that is non-political, we are at war against a common enemy that knows no race or culture, and we are at war against a common enemy that knows no physical or political boundaries or social distinctions.

We are fighting an invisible enemy.

We are fighting this invisible enemy on battlegrounds on every continent in the world with the exception of Antarctica. But even if we can't see our enemy, we know it's there ... its victims are just as dead as those who were killed by a conventional weapon in a conventional war.

Yes, America, we are at war.

And that's why as soldiers in this war, we need to use the weapons at our disposal to defeat our common enemy ... a microbe that is known as Covid-19.

Our common enemy can be defeated, but it will take a united effort of every country, including America. And, it will take a united effort of the citizens of the world, including Americans, to claim victory against our common enemy.

And, it will take time.

Sadly, the United States has the dubious distinction of being Number One ... Number One in active Covid-19 cases and Number One in the number of Covid-19 deaths.

And this time, being number one is not something we Americans should be bragging about.

Randy Daniel

May 8, 2020

I enjoy writing. It is a great stress buster. My favorite subjects to write on are American history, classic cars, and an occasional op-ed political commentary.

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