CHURCHILL OUT OF HIBERNATION, WEEK 28
At exactly the right moment, this desperately awful moment, we reach THE DAWN OF LIBERATION, Volume Five in the collected war speeches of Winston Churchill.
The Dawn of Liberation reminds us that the battle was terrible but that the defeat of evil did come.
Though the speeches collected in The Dawn of Liberation date from February 22 to December 31, 1944, and obviously embrace D-Day and the Allied armies’ liberating march into Europe, the book was not published until after V-E Day, in March 1945. Thus, The Dawn of Liberation, in itself, represented News from the Front after victory had been won. In this sense, it offers powerful reverberations, and consolations, on this horrifying day of all days, as a Fascist President’s “Brownshirt” followers besieged the grounds of the United States Capitol Building.
Throughout the year 1944, Winston Churchill in his speeches allowed himself to gaze with increasing hope toward a victorious democratic future. The Nazi vision of that future was collapsing in paroxysms of empty violence. The tide had been turned, though hostilities of the most dire sort still persisted. The Allies would win this war and Churchill knew it. So did Hitler, whose ugly voice was now haunted by the inevitability of his own defeat.
“The future towards which we are marching,” Churchill maintained in an address to the House of Commons on May 29, 1944, “across bloody fields and frightful manifestations of destruction, must surely be based upon the broad and simple virtues and upon the nobility of mankind. It must be based upon a reign of law which upholds the principles of justice and fair play, and protects the weak against the strong if the weak have justice on their side.
“We shall be hard put to… repair the devastation that has been wrought,” he concluded. “I hope and pray…that we may have the strength and the will to secure these permanent and splendid achievements, which alone make amends to mankind for all the miseries and toil which have been their doom, and for all the heroism and sacrifice which have been their glory.””
We wish you and our nation Churchillian strength and the will to make amends for all these miseries.