The crusade on which we embarked in the early summer
of 1944 has reached its glorious conclusion. It is my especial privilege,
in the name of all nations represented in this theatre of war, to commend
each of you for the valiant performance of duty.
Though these words are feeble, they come from the
bottom of a heart overflowing with pride in your loyal service and admiration
for you as warriors. Your accomplishments at sea, in the air, on the
ground and in the field of supply have astonished the world.
Even before the final week of the conflict you had
put 5,000,000 of the enemy permanently out of the war. You have taken
in stride military tasks so difficult as to be classed by many doubters
as impossible. You have confused, defeated and destroyed your savagely
fighting foe. On the road to victory you have endured every discomfort
and privation and have surmounted every obstacle that ingenuity and
desperation could throw in your path. You did not pause until our front
was firmly joined up with the great Red Army coming from the east and
other Allied forces coming from the south.
Full victory in Europe has been attained. Working
and fighting together in single and indestructible partnership you have
achieved a perfection in the unification of air, ground and naval power
that will stand as a model in our time.
The route you have traveled through hundreds of miles
is marked by the graves of former comrades. From them have been exacted
the ultimate sacrifice. The blood of many nations-American, British,
Canadian, French, Polish and others-has helped to gain the victory.
Each of the fallen died as a member of a team to which you belong, bound
together by a common love of liberty and a refusal to submit to enslavement.
No monument of stone, no memorial of whatever magnitude could so well
express our respect and veneration for their sacrifice as would the
perpetuation of the spirit of comradeship in which they died.
As we celebrate victory in Europe let us remind ourselves
that our common problems of the immediate and distant future can be
best solved in the same conceptions of cooperation and devotion to the
cause of human freedom as have made this Expeditionary Force such a
mighty engine of righteous destruction. Let us have no part in the profitless
quarrels in which other men will inevitably engage as to what country
and what service won the European war.
Every man and every woman of every nation here represented
has served according to his or her ability and efforts and each has
contributed to the outcome. This we shall remember and in doing so we
shall be revering each honored grave and be sending comfort to the loved
ones of comrades who could not live to see this day.
In 1943 the late President Roosevelt and Premier Churchill
met in Casablanca. There they pronounced the formula of unconditional
surrender for the Axis Powers.
In Europe that formula has now been fulfilled. The
Allied force which invaded Europe on June 6, 1944, has, with its great
Russian Ally and the forces advancing from the south, utterly defeated
the Germans on land, sea and air.
This unconditional surrender has been achieved by
team-work, team-work not only among all the Allies participating but
among all the services, land, sea and air.
To every subordinate that has been in this command
of almost 5,000,000 Allies I owe a debt of gratitude that can never
be repaid. The only repayment that can be made to them is the deep appreciation
and lasting gratitude of all the free citizens of all the United Nations.