Australia will commemorate the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War on August 15, also known as Victory in the Pacific Day. This date commemorates Japan’s acceptance of the Allied demand for unconditional surrender on 14 August 1945.
Australian Prime Minister Ben Chifley announced the end of the war on August 15:
‘Fellow citizens, the war is over… Let us remember those whose lives were given that we may enjoy this glorious moment and may look forward to a peace which they have won for us.’
On VP Day, we honour and remember the bravery, sacrifice and courage of the servicemen and women who fought for our freedom. The 75th anniversary of VP Day falls on a Saturday, traditionally a busy day for community sport. Veteran Sport Australia is encouraging sporting codes and clubs from around the country to acknowledge this significant and special occasion and to pay our respects.
Nearly one million Australians served in the armed forces during the war. The Department of Veterans’ Affairs’ Anzac Portal details that ‘some 40,000 Australians didn’t return home to their families. Over 17,000 of them lost their lives while fighting in the war against Japan, some 8000 of whom died in Japanese captivity.’
“Some one million Australians served in the Second World War and remarkably around 12,000 veterans are still with us today — each of whom have a unique story to tell,” said Darren Chester, Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, in a media release about the Second World War 75 years on.
Since June 2, the Department of Veterans’ Affairs has been sharing stories about the experiences of those impacted by the Second World War through a special radio and social media series called ‘75 days, 75 stories’.
“Our Second World War veterans left a powerful legacy and it is our responsibility to ensure their stories live on through generations to come, which is why I will be sharing 75 stories over the next 75 days on social media,” said Minister Chester.
“I encourage Australians to share these stories, those of their own loved ones’ service, or perhaps events which you can recall or have been passed down through the generations from the Second World War.
“Together we can all honour and remember those who served in the Second World War and protected Australia from a very real threat.”
Make sure you follow the release of 75 stories in 75 days in the lead-up to the 75th anniversary of Victory in the Pacific. When sharing stories over social media, all Australians are encouraged to use #OneInAMillion in their social media posts.