V-J Day Plus 69: Reflections on the Decline of America

Posted on 08 August 2014


August 14th, 2014, marks the 69th anniversary of V-J Day.  The date follows by eight days the dropping of the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima and by five days that of the second atomic bomb on Nagasaki, bringing World War II to an abrupt end.  With the second “war to end all wars” successfully concluded, America displayed its generosity of spirit by rebuilding the homelands of our enemies.


69 years later, our enemies have assumed positions of power and influence in the global economy.  Japan, once considered a closed society driven by feudal warlords, has become an economic powerhouse.  In little more than half a century, its once ancient villages have become bustling metropolises.  Similarly, a reunited, resurgent Germany has become the economic linchpin and political leader of Western Europe and the European Union.  It makes one wonder who actually won World War II.


As cities and countries that our former enemies called home have flourished in the new global economy, American cities like Detroit have fallen into decay (the picture at the top of this article is not of Hiroshima or Nagasaki, but a real picture of Detroit in 2014).  The industrial might of America, once the prime driver of a prosperous middle class, has been strangled by government intervention – killing the proverbial “golden goose” of the free market economy upon which our nation’s former prosperity was built.  Our two-party system has failed America miserably as personal greed and ideological obstinance on the part of both Democrats and Republicans has reduced our once proud republican form of government into just another spectator sport.  Statesmen have been replaced by buffoons at the expense of the American taxpayer.


Our Founding Fathers created three separate but equal branches of government so that any abuse of power by one would held in check by the others.  And, should the legislative and executive branches be monopolized by one political party, an independent judiciary could and would protect the freedoms on which our nation was founded.  Yet, as nominees for positions in the federal judiciary and on the U.S. Supreme Court have increasingly been selected more on the basis of political leanings than legal acumen, the independence of the American judiciary is also called into question.


In foreign affairs, America, considered by some as the world’s only military superpower, has become a shrinking violet and is in the process of unilaterally disarming despite increasing global threats posed by radical Islamic fundamentalists, totalitarian governments in China and South Korea, and a Russian leadership seemingly bent on the restoration of the old Soviet Union.  As the sun is setting on the generation responsible for America’s prominence in the aftermath of World War II, our society has largely forgotten their sacrifices, as commemorations of these historical events are replaced by trips to shopping malls to take advantage of deep discounts on retail merchandise.  Worship of the almighty dollar has displaced worship of the Almighty Himself!


In a radio broadcast following the Japanese surrender that ended World War II, General Douglas MacArthur, Supreme Commander of Pacific Forces stated, “Today the guns are silent.  A great tragedy has ended.  A great victory has been won.  The skies no longer rain death – the seas bear only commerce.  Men everywhere walk upright in the sunlight.  The entire world is quietly at peace.  The holy mission has been completed.  And in reporting this to you, the people, I speak for the thousands of silent lips, forever stilled among the jungles and the beaches and in the deep waters of the Pacific which marked the way.  I speak for the unnamed brave millions homeward bound to take up the challenge of that future which they did so much to salvage from the brink of disaster.”  During that war, more than 400,000 Americans gave their lives in preserving the unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as enumerated in our Declaration of Independence.


Reflecting on V-J Day, I cannot help but think of all the Americans who, from the inception of our nation, have laid down their lives for the preservation of freedom from Bunker Hill to Afghanistan.  And, as I ponder the current path of our nation in this new global society, all I can say is “what a waste of national wealth and human endeavor.”

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2 Responses to “V-J Day Plus 69: Reflections on the Decline of America”

  1. Doc Jay says:

    This article absolutely nailed the current plight of America. The loss of lives and treasure in the Middle East, Northern Africa, Southeast Asia, and other parts of the world appears to have been largely in vain. Since the end of World War II, America has been slipping and sliding toward the plight of the nations in the Third World. Is “American exceptionalism” just a phrase? Or, can America rebound and take the lead in creating a better world?

  2. Author says:

    Thank you Doc. for your sincere comment. In answer to your question
    “can America rebound”? Yes,only when the citizens of this country realize they have the power to transform America into a vibrant hard working country again. It is called the right to VOTE and when they do they will find they do not need three branches of government to resolve our nations problems. Don’t waste your vote on political favors, vote for what for is good for the country. Remember UNITED WE STAND and DIVIDED WE FALL is the hope of the future.

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