Seventy years ago today, the Allied Forces declared victory in Europe over tyranny during World War II. After more than five years of brutal fighting that took the lives of some 40 million people across the continent—including six million Jews and millions of others murdered by the Nazi regime—the forces of freedom triumphed over oppression in Europe. The war was not yet won; it would be three more months of fighting in the Pacific. But V-E Day represented, at long last, a hope for peace.
Today, we salute the more than 16 million Americans who left everything they knew—their families, their homes—to serve in World War II, and then came home to help build the America we know today. We honor the memory of the more than 400,000 Americans who made the ultimate sacrifice so that we might live free. We rededicate ourselves—on this day and every day—to the freedoms for which they fought, and to the American Dream for which they died. We stand with our allies, in Europe and around the world, in defending the liberty and human rights of all people. And we honor our brave men and women in uniform and their families who continue to defend the freedom that was won 70 years ago today.