The Bayonet

Tuesday, Apr. 22, 2014

CG: We must remember, learn from Holocaust

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CG: We must remember, learn from Holocaust

In the Germany of the 1930s, humanity was eroded by xenophobia in general and anti-Semitism in particular - and then in the 1940s, gave way completely. The scale of the human toll, the suffering during the Holocaust, is almost unimaginable - 6 million Jews, 5 million others systematically murdered.

After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941, America mobilized for a war that involved all of America.

The U.S. Army grew from 190,000 to almost 8.5 million Soldiers - a 44-fold increase. A total of 16 million Americans served in uniform in World War II. Our nation was mobilized for war.

America mobilized to defeat Japanese imperialism and Nazi fascism. American and Allied soldiers had to stop the mass murderer of innocents physically. We should celebrate the end of this horror because it was a victory not only for our nation, but also for all of humankind.

As we consider the human toll of World War II and the Holocaust, we must not be numbed by statistics. Instead, we should reflect on the individual humanity of each victim and remember the singularity of every death.

And we should also reflect on the individual sacrifices that American Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors and Marines and our allies made to defeat Nazi Germany and end the Holocaust. Those who fought and died were warriors and humanitarians. They fought, as our Soldiers fight today, for all of humanity. As we reflect on the Holocaust, we should be inspired by their example, grateful for their sacrifice and proud of our role in today's fight against terrorists who use another irreligious ideology to rationalize their brutality and murder of innocents.

- Maj. Gen. H. R. McMaster Commanding General

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