Cinco de Mayo has its roots in the French occupation of Mexico, which took place in the aftermath of the Mexican American War 1846-1848 and the 1858–61. The Reform War was a civil war which pitted Liberals (who believed in separation of Church and State and freedom of religion) against the Conservatives (who favored a tight bond between the Roman Catholic Church and the Mexican State). These wars left the Mexican Treasury nearly bankrupt. On July 17, 1861, Mexican President Juarez issued a moratorium in which all foreign debt payments would be suspended for two years. In response, France, Britain, and Spain sent naval forces to Veracruz to demand reimbursement. Britain and Spain negotiated with Mexico and withdrew, but France, at the time ruled by Napoleon III, decided to use the opportunity to establish a Latin empire in Mexico that would favor French interests, the Second Mexican Empire. They lost. (Wikipedia)
On the same day in 1955 the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) became a sovereign state when the United States, France, and Great Britain end their military occupation, which had begun in 1945. With this action, West Germany was given the right to rearm and become a full-fledged member of the western alliance against the Soviet Union. In 1945 the United States, Great Britain, and France had assumed the occupation of the western portion of Germany (as well as the western half of Berlin situated in eastern Germany). The Soviet Union occupied eastern Germany, as well as the eastern half of Berlin.
As Cold War animosities began to harden between the western powers and Russia, it became increasingly obvious that Germany would not be reunified. By the late 1940s, the United States acted to formalize the split and establish western Germany as an independent republic, and in May 1949, the Federal Republic of Germany was formally announced. In 1954, West Germany joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the mutual defense alliance between the United States and several European nations. All that remained was for the Americans, British, and French to end their nearly 10-year occupation.
This was accomplished on May 5, 1955, when those nations issued a proclamation declaring an end to the military occupation of West Germany. The end of the Allied occupation of West Germany meant a full recognition of the republic as a member of the western alliance against the Soviet Union. While the Russians were less than thrilled by the prospect of a rearmed West Germany, they were nonetheless pleased that German reunification had officially become a dead issue. Shortly after the May 5 proclamation was issued, the Soviet Union formally recognized the Federal Republic of Germany. The two Germany’s remained separated until 1990, when they were formally reunited and once again became a single democratic country.
And so what is my point? We, as a nation, have never conquered and mastered a nation. At the end of the day we have successfully given those countries new beginnings and chances to grasp dreams. Freedom of democracy. The freedom to argue, debate, without fear or mob brutality. Please allow my favorite quote “I may not believe what you have to say but with my life I will defend your right to say it.” Voltaire. Next to John 3:16 it is up on my list.
Our regular meetings continue the first and third Thursdays of the month at 7:00 PM. This Thursday at 6:00 pm Chef Sebert is on duty! Monday morning Koffee Klatch meetings in May are still scheduled for biscuits and gravy and maybe a waffle or two and always a cup of Joe (coffee to the civilians). Keep your eye on the weather in case things have to be postponed. That will be most likely if the storms bring strong winds and lightning. If you are a veteran come on by. If you have a good story it may end up in print. Also keep up with us at website “americanlegion142.org”.