Today we commemorate the 70th anniversary of Victory-Europe Day, better known as V.E. Day – May 8, 1945, when millions of people around the world celebrate the end of World War II in Europe. This day not only marks the end of WWII but it is also the day the Allied Powers, including the United States, accepted the official surrender of Nazi Germany.
But if you think the war against evil men ended on May 8, 1945, you are completely wrong.
Evil is running rampant in our world today. The Word tells us in Ecclesiastes that “there is nothing new under the sun,” and yet, the world seems to grow more evil as the days go on. We live in a world where journalists, and pastors, and aid workers are brutally murdered for the entire world to watch. We live in a world where terrorists call daily for “death to the infidel” and for the destruction of America and Israel. We live in a world where Jews and Christians are murdered or tortured for their faith. We live in a world filled with violence and hate.
Edmund Burke, an English philosopher, is credited with this quote*: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Even though this was said in 1795, never has that quote been more appropriate than now. Throughout history, some variation of this quote has been used as a call to those who want to see evil destroyed but are hesitant to do anything to stop it.
In the years leading up to WWII, no one wanted to believe that such evil could be happening in the world. No one wanted to get involved in other people’s business. The isolationism and non-interventionism of the U.S. was somewhat understandable given the close proximity to WWI. But the fact remained, Hitler’s Germany needed to be stopped.
Today, the Department of Defense raised the security threat level on all state-side military bases due to unspecified threats from ISIS. I find it interesting that on the day we remember the fall of one of the most evil regimes and the ending of one of the most destructive global conflicts in history, we raise our security level to reflect the growing danger that ISIS poses to not only Americans but the entire world. To those who wish to ignore the problem and simply look away, this should be a wake up call.
History is repeating itself. The evil in this world is again rearing its ugly head and good men are once again faced with the tough question, “What will I do to stop it?” It’s a tough decision to make but its one that must be made. We each have a part to play but the question is, are we willing to play our part?
For each of us, that part looks different. For some, it means being in front of crowds and speaking at national events. For some, it means informing those in your spheres of influence so that they can stand up and make a difference. For others, it means teaching your children about the difference between right and wrong and to stand up for what is right…no matter what the popular or politically correct may say.
If we learn anything from WWII, let it be this:
“Never give in — never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.” – Prime Minister Winston Churchill, October 19, 1941.
“We shall not fail or falter; we shall not weaken or tire. Neither the sudden shock of battle, nor the long-drawn trials of vigilance and exertion will wear us down. Give us the tools and we will finish the job.” – Prime Minister Winston Churchill, February 9, 1941
“It is evil things that we will be fighting against—brute force, bad faith, injustice, oppression and persecution—and against them I am certain that the right will prevail.” Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, Sept. 3, 1939
“This is a long tough road we have to travel. The men that can do things are going to be sought out just as surely as the sun rises in the morning. Fake reputations, habits of glib and clever speech, and glittering surface performance are going to be discovered.” – General Dwight D. Eisenhower, August 27, 1942
“As a nation, we may take pride in the fact that we are softhearted; but we cannot afford to be soft-headed.” President Franklin D. Roosevelt, January 9, 1941
“Freedom to learn is the first necessity of guaranteeing that man himself shall be self-reliant enough to be free. … If the fires of freedom and civil liberties burn low in other lands they must be made brighter in our own. If in other lands the press and books and literature of all kinds are censored, we must redouble our efforts here to keep them free. If in other lands the eternal truths of the past are threatened by intolerance we must provide a safe place for their perpetuation.” – President Franklin D. Roosevelt, June 30, 1938
“It was close; but that’s the way it is in war. You win or lose, live or die — and the difference is just an eyelash.” – General Douglas MacArthur, March 17, 1942
So the question now that each of us must answer is this, “What will you do to keep evil from prevailing?”