EDITORIAL: Let’s not forget the lessons of the past

‘Greatest Generation’ and VE-Day are lessons in doing the right thing

Canadian soldiers on patrol in France during the Second World War. (Veteran Affairs Canada)

May 8 is the 75th anniversary of the Allied Forces’ victory and the end of the Second World War in Europe.

It’s known as Victory in Europe Day, or V-E Day. On this day in 1945, the allies of the Second World War accepted Germany’s unconditional surrender.

Celebrations erupted throughout the Western world, including many Canadian cities, to mark the end of the European part of the war. Prime Minister Mackenzie King called it “a good day – a happy day.”

The Second World War was the deadliest military conflict in human history, with more than 45,000 Canadians and 60 million people killed worldwide. It’s estimated fewer than 33,000 living Second World War veterans in Canada today.

Those who grew up during the Great Depression and contributed to the war effort were called the “Greatest Generation” by TV newsman Tom Brokaw.

In his book by the same name, he wrote these men and women fought not for fame or recognition, but because it was the “right thing to do.”

The Second World War until its end dramatically shifted the daily reality for nearly everyone the world over.

The Greatest Generation’s sacrifices offer us an incredible lesson today amid the COVID-19 crisis, and it’s more important than ever that we preserve the legacy, lessons and sacrifices of their moment in history.

Until now, unless you lived through the Great Depression or the Second World War, no one has ever experienced sacrifices that we will need to make in the coming weeks and months to battle COVID-19.

The Greatest Generation had its moment and millions of people at home and abroad stepped up to ensure freedom and liberty across the globe. The sacrifices they made were hard. Food was rationed and many gave their lives, but they knew what was required and rose to the challenge of the times. It ended with victory in the Second World War.

COVID-19 may very well represent our defining moment.

Let’s not forget the lessons of the past.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Vancouver Island artist gifts B.C.’s health officer with symbolic hummingbird

A special connection brought the piece to Dr. Bonnie Henry’s desk in Victoria

Victoria arcade coins new business model to reopen

Quazar’s Arcade is allowing group bookings for two-hour time slots

Friends, family mourn Salt Spring Island woman killed in suspected murder-suicide

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched for Jennifer Quesnel’s three sons

Vancouver Island volunteers checking in on seniors during pandemic

United Way reports 2,600 phone check-ins and 1,300 ‘virtual visits’

University of Victoria chemist works to create at-home COVID-19 test

The test uses a sample of saliva, results are then read by an app

VIDEO: B.C. dentist gets grand welcome home after two months in hospital fighting COVID-19

Michael Chow was given a surprise send off by hospital staff and ‘welcome home’ from neighbours

Lithium-ion battery fire damages suite in Nanaimo

One man displaced from home after battery for radio-controlled toy bursts into flame while charging

‘Like finding a needle in a haystack’: Ancient arrowhead discovered near Williams Lake

The artifact is believed to be from the Nesikip period between 7,500 BP to 6,000 BP

Indigenous families say their loved ones’ deaths in custody are part of pattern

Nora Martin joins other Indigenous families in calling for a significant shift in policing

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Indigenous chief alleges RCMP beat him during arrest that began over expired licence plate

Athabasca Chipewyan Chief Allan Adam calling for independent investigation

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

UPDATED: Pair accused of ‘horrific’ assault at Vancouver’s Oppenheimer Park arrested

Police say Jason Tapp, 30, and Nicole Edwards, 33, did not show up to meet their bail supervisor this week

Black Lives solidarity demonstration fills Nanaimo park

Anti-racism protest held at Maffeo Sutton Park on Friday afternoon

Most Read