Earlier this month, on May 8, President Donald Trump marked the 75th anniversary of Nazi Germany’s surrender to Allied forces in Europe with a small wreath-laying ceremony attended by the first lady and eight World War II veterans.

The scaled-down ceremony had its own grace and profundity. But it also, it seems to us, carried a symbolic significance, and issued a call to action from the Greatest Generation to the generations of today.

Before the Freedom Wall, and its field of gold stars, are engraved these words: “Here we mark the price of freedom.”

At a time when authoritarianism is on the rise and “illiberal democracies” across the globe are challenging the economic and civil liberties that formed the foundation of democratic societies and economic growth after World War II, those words, “the price of freedom,” should echo in our hearts and minds.

Now is not the time for small ideas or retreat from America’s 75-year role as the leader of what we once proudly called the Free World.

The coronavirus pandemic, while a great challenge to an open society, heightens the need for U.S. leadership and cooperation with our allies to vouchsafe the democratic values of economic and individual liberty we fought so bravely for in World War II.

— The Dallas Morning News

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