V-E, V-J, any way you spell it, at long last this horrible war is over.
It has been a long, hard row, filled with unspeakable horrors. No one has left this war untouched. We can celebrate now a hard-won victory, and mourn the brave men and women who lost their lives in this long, violent affair. But as the Lights Go Back On All Across the World and we return to our lives and our loved ones, let us reflect once more on the sacrifices, the bravery, the resiliance, and the tragedies of this history-defining moment. Let us lower our heads in reverence for those we have lost, and then let us roll up our sleeves to repair the damage that has been done, physically and emotionally, and prove once again the resiliance of the human species and how the forces of creation shall always eventually surmount the forces of destruction.
Let us remember the soldiers and marines that fought in the mud and sand.
Let us remember the sailors who fought on and below the waves.
Let us remember the airmen who fought high above the clouds.
Let us remember the doctors and nurses who brough healing to a world sick with war.
Let us remember the builders, the riveters, the welders, and the rest whose hands made the necessary materials.
Let us remember the farmers who grew the food and the miners who dug up the raw materials.
Let us remember the civil servents who tracked, organized, and directed the efforts that brought all these things together.
Let us remember the innocents who suffered from inhumanity far beyond their control.
And now, without forgetting their sacrifices, let us move on with our lives the way those we lost would have wanted and celebrate the good times. It has been a Sentimental Journey, as Doris Day and Les Brown remind us:
Good Times Cocktail:
Stir over ice, strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.
* Old Tom gin is a variety of gin sweeter than London Dry but drier than Dutch Jenever. The semi-dry New Amsterdam Gin brand is probably a good substitute if you (very likely) can't find Old Tom. Otherwise have a Martini!
Thank you, everyone, everywhere, who made the necessary sacrifices through the horror of the second world war, and indeed all wars, be your contribution one of blood and valor, grease and muscle, or hope and heart.