V-E Day: 70 Years On
8th May 1945
It was 70 years on this date that the conflict in Europe officially came to an end, the date is signified by the signing of the Act of Military Surrender in Reims, France, and finally, in Berlin the next day. It was an enormous relief to everyone that finally the long six years of fighting that claimed the lives of many had ended. A wave of celebrations hit the streets of many cities across the continent, London saw masses of people in Trafalgar Square and the Mall up to Buckingham Palace to celebrate the end of the tyrannical Axis powers. Winston Churchill, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth (the Queen mother) were on the balcony waving to the thousands that crowded the capital to finally celebrate the end of the Second World War.
Celebrations erupted from Los Angeles to Moscow, the United States also held a massive regard for the end of the conflict in Europe, Harry S. Truman dedicated the victory to the memory of his predecessor; Franklin D. Roosevelt, who died less than a month before, the flags were left at half-mast to commemorate this day and the president that should have been alive to witness it. In many cities crowds littered the streets with dancing, singing and flag waving with little pavement left to be seen under all the people, it was a victory that could have come too soon as the Second World War would leave a deep wound in many of the European countries. But lets gloss over that and discuss the heroes that made it possible.
Remembering the Victory
Like remembrance day, this day will remain in the memories of those in Western Europe, celebrations and commemoration of this victory still parade on the streets of London, Paris and New York. 1995 in particular, on the 50th anniversary of the victory, in Britain a Lancaster Bomber dropped poppies in front of Buckingham Palace to provide a spectacular sight and a suitable way to remember the ones we lost and celebrate the victory over Nazi Germany.
This article’s purpose was to celebrate those that defended western Europe from the central powers and most notably, the German invasion. It is with their sacrifice that we are not under the wings of the Third Reich, something Hitler dreamed would be around for 1000 years. It is because of our veterans that we can be proud of our nation and the victory that we claimed 70 years ago because of the brave people that fought for what they thought was right. 🙂
Fights of the Century – A Game Changer
Under the light of the big fight yesterday I decided I would write a short article comparing it to the original fight of the century. Although a few fights have been dubbed the ‘the Fight of the Century,’ the one usually associated with that title is the fight between Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali, two unbeaten foes who under much anticipation would decide the real champion of the ring, sounds similar to yesterday’s fight? This article will simply discuss some differences and similarities in boxing while primarily analysing these two bouts. Although not entirely associated with history as I understand, I have quite a passion for boxing so I felt compelled to write this so I apologise in advance.
In my opinion, boxing has taken a hairpin turn for the worst ever since the 1980s, fights are not frequent enough and it is common to see a six month gap between fights for fighters whereas back in the Golden Age of boxing (1960s-1970s) most fights were between two weeks and a month apart and enjoyed many more interesting and conflicting characters than now, and great rivalries existed which gave birth to the classic fights which would live among the greatest bouts forever. I think this is a major problem when it comes to boxing is the lack of personality. You had loud, brash characters such as Muhammad Ali who adopted his own personal unorthodox style of boxing. Big and powerful boxers vilified by the general public such as George Foreman and Sonny Liston. Awkward boxing styles whose technical abilities was a major issue for opponents such as Floyd Patterson and Ken Norton and finally relentless and unforgiving fighters such as Joe Frazier and Ron Lyle. It was clear at this point the heavyweight division was where all the spectators would crowd.
The heavyweight division is now just dominated with people with ridiculous genetics and therefore usually much taller than the average, much heavier than the scaled boundary and with no personality which has left boxing with a lack of vibrant players. Many have turned to the welterweight division and yesterday was the day the world witnessed two boxers who many have anticipate would fight to claim the undisputed title. I find it difficult to engage in such a sport where there is such a lack of personality and you have people like Justin Bieber rocking up with Mayweather on the side lines for the introduction.
The Original Fight of the Century
The day was 8 March 1971, both Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier had legitimate claims to the title, Ali originally won t by defeating Sonny Liston several years later until 1967 when the title was taken from him due to issues regarding the Vietnam War. The title was therefore left vacant and was there for the taking, and the man who won the competition for the title was Joe Frazier, both fighters were undefeated and it was a meeting of two individuals hungry for the title. The fight was therefore organised to decide who was the real world heavyweight champion. Prior to his lay off, Ali was unusually fast for his size, he showed excellent dexterity and skill in the ring, destroying opponents who in the public eye believed Ali did not have a chance of beating.
I’m not sure where I’m even going with this article, its basically just a rant against those in boxing, the lack of likeable and differentiated personalities which are represented in the sport and have basically in my eyes killed it, not completely but ever since the four great middleweights of the 1980s (Sugar Ray Leonard, Roberto Duran, Marvin Hagler and Thomas Hearns) had hung up their gloves, boxing has died and now combat sports are mainly dominated by UFC. I’ll probably end up deleting this article but we will see, it really shouldn’t be here.