June 18, 2011

Gen. Eisenhower in New York - a grateful country gave thanks.

With the War in Europe over and the War in the Pacific a little less than two months away, Gen. Eisenhower was called to Capitol Hill to address a joint session of Congress on this day, June 18, 1945.

Gen. Eisenhower: "My imagination cannot picture a more dramatic moment than this in the life of any American. I stand before the elected Federal lawmakers of our great Republic, the very core of our political life and a symbol of those things we call the American heritage. To preserve that heritage, three million American citizens, at your behest, have faced resolutely every terror the ruthless Nazi could devise. I come before you as the representative of those three million people-their commander-because to them you wish this morning to pay the tribute of a grateful America for military victory. In humble realization that they, who earned your commendation, should properly be here to receive it, I am nevertheless proud and honored to be your agent in conveying it to them".

One devastating part of the War was over, but another was yet to finish. Even though there was an overwhelming sense of relief, there was still a ways to go, and the introduction of a new and more terrifying weapon waiting in the wings. But that was almost two months and many more battles away.

Here is General Eisenhower's complete address as it was broadcast live over CBS Radio on June 18, 1945.

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