No matter how many times I read this, I feel a swell of emotion and pride. From Stephen Ambrose's "The Lasting Legacy of World War II:"
Nineteen forty-five was the worst year in human history - more people killed, more building destroyed, more high explosives, more fires than ever before or since. In 1945, the sight of a group of teenage Germans or Japanese or Red Army troops, in uniform and armed, brought terror to civilians in France, Belgium, Holland, Korea, the Philippines, China, Germany, Poland, and elsewhere. It brought terror because those squads of teen-age soldiers meant rape, pillage, looting, wanton murder, and senseless destruction. There was an exception: a squad of teen-age soldiers of democracy, in uniform and armed - because that squad meant candy, C-rations, cigarettes, and freedom. That was true in France, Belgium, Italy, the Philippines, China, even Germany, and, after August 1945, Japan. We had sent the best of our young men halfway around the world, in both directions, not to conquer, not to destroy, not to rule, but to liberate.
Have another great day in the land of liberty!