American Notes: Anniversaries

Twenty-five years ago last week Nazi Germany surrendered to the Allies at General Dwight Eisenhower's headquarters in Reims. It was V-E day, the end of the crusade in Europe; to Americans and much of the world, Ike and his triumphant armies were the heroes of an un forgettable moment. The atomic bomb, the cold war, Korea, Viet Nam, were all ahead. Wrote Poet Phyllis McGinley:

"That was an island in time, secure and candid, When we seemed to walk in freedom as in the sun."

That instant of military glory unalloyed was the last in the nation's memory. The horror of...

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