It's May 8, nineteen forty-five,
What a happy, giddy, glorious time,
with the end of the war in Europe
and peace around the corner!
The war years are a blur of memories.
We remember the dark days, bleak months
when France was overrun and England stood alone
against the onslaught of Nazi oppression,
with the miracle of Dunkirk and the Battle of Britain.
Soon Germany attacked Russia.
We watched in apprehension,
with two oceans protecting us from harm.
Strong conservative isolationists
insisted that we never send troops
to fight others' battles,
though we could help friends with materiel.
Roosevelt proclaimed four freedoms:
Freedom of speech and worship,
freedom from want and fear.
Then Japan attacked Pearl Harbor.
That Day in Infamy galvanized the nation;
it woke the sleeping giant to win,
no matter what the cost.
U-boats sank merchant ships
in the graveyard of the Atlantic
off the coast of Hatteras.
At last a glimmer of hope,
but a long way still to go.
Russia broke the German siege;
the Afrika Corps was thrown back.
We were happy with each battle won
and sad for soldiers lost.
After many victories and some defeats,
and always uncertainty,
Allied armies landed in Normandy,
then drove the Wehrmacht
all the way to Berlin,
until there was Victory in Europe.
Finally we have won after all these years
of “blood, toil, tears and sweat,”
as Churchill said so long ago.
But there's still a way to go in the Pacific.
Once that's done, lights will go on again,
and our boys will come home.
Finally the whole world can have
free speech and worship without hunger or fear.