Editorial: We all owe them a debt

Published 12:53 am Saturday, July 25, 2020

In a few weeks, the world will mark the 75th anniversary of V-J Day.

While observed officially in the United States on Sept. 2, internationally it is tied to the Aug. 15, 1945 surrender of the Japanese Empire and the end of World War II.

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For this milestone, The Ironton Tribune wanted to honor those in our region who contributed to the victories in both Europe and the Pacific.

As the war moves further into the past, it must never be forgotten what the stakes were as these soldiers were shipped overseas to take part in this conflict.

The Axis powers of Nazi Germany, Hirohito’s Japan and fascist Italy were among the most brutal forces in history, were set on conquering much of the world and committed atrocities that are still hard to grasp to this day.

In the early days of the conflict, it appeared these forces were unstoppable and would overtake the globe.

At no point was it ever a foregone conclusion that the U.S. and its allies would win. In fact, in the early years of the war, some felt the conflict could stretch on for more than a decade.

The danger and uncertainty these soldiers faced is almost impossible for younger generations to grasp.

Had it not been for their service and sacrifices, the world we know today would most likely be a darker place.

For this special publication we asked readers to submit the names of veterans from our area, to share their stories, to honor those who have passed and those who did not return home. And we received a tremendous response from those who wanted to pay tribute those from their families and communities here in Lawrence County and the Tri-State.

It was an honor to interview those who took part in this feature. We appreciate everyone who contributed in putting this together and we thank and all who served.