When bullies have their fingers on the nuclear button, we should remember what the “Greatest Generation” fought for in World War II.
Pat Neal’s column (PDN, June 6) “Remembering D-Day” helps us understand.
I, too, salute Pete Peterson of Forks, a medic in the D-Day Normandy landing.
I take issue with some of Neal’s comments.
The GIs, he said, “were hoping the Russians and the Germans would have wiped each other out” as if the U.S. was neutral, watching two offensive powers fight to the death.
Neal added,“Resigned to do their duty, the American boys figured they were going to have to stop the Germans from taking over the world, and they did.”
You would never know from Neal’s column that the Soviet Union was a U.S. ally.
The Soviets bore the brunt, fighting 5 million fascist invaders and lost 22 million men, women and children [26 million according to Russian sources].
They pleaded with the U.S. to open the “Second Front.”
The U.S. did, at last, on D-Day.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt wrote to Stalin that Soviet victory at the Battle of Stalingrad “will remain one of the proudest chapters in this war of the peoples united against Nazism and its emulators.”
As FDR observed, a grand alliance of many peoples brought victory.
Often it was partisans in France, Poland, Italy, Yugoslavia, Greece and the Soviet Union.
In the Pacific, regular Indian, Australian, Chinese, Soviet, and U.S. armies were joined by partisans of Vietnam, the Philippines and Korea.
WWII teaches that multilateralism, not super-power arrogance, defeats aggression and opens the way for peace.