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Today we mark 75 years since the end of hostilities in Europe in the Second World War.  We pay tribute today to all those who stood up for humanity and freedom in the face of tyranny, and we honor the sacrifices of all service members involved in ridding the world of Nazi, fascist, and other aggression.

We remember with sorrow the unique suffering of the Jewish people in the Holocaust and the merciless slaughter of so many other innocent civilians.  As we honor their memory, we renew our vow to never allow such atrocities to take place again.

We remember today, too, that for many people living in countries that were behind the Iron Curtain after the war, the end of the war marked the start, or continuation, of a different kind of oppression.

Since 1945, Transatlantic cooperation has been vital in promoting peace, democracy, and tolerance, and in upholding our shared values of freedom and the rule of law.  After the fall of the Iron Curtain, more people were free to live under these common democratic values.  We have a shared history.  And in the spirit of collaboration, we look forward to a shared future.


U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future