Saturday, 15 August 2015

Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson
Minister for Veterans' Affairs
Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC
Special Minister of State


The 70th anniversary of Victory in the Pacific will be commemorated around Australia today at special commemorative ceremonies, before a special celebratory dinner in Brisbane tonight.

Later today, Second World War veterans will gather in special commemorative ceremonies to mark the 70th anniversary of the unconditional surrender of Japanese forces, bringing to an end the War in the Pacific and the Second World War.

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Senator the Hon. Michael Ronaldson will join the Prime Minister, the Hon. Tony Abbott MP, and RSL National President Rear Admiral Ken Doolan AO RAN (Ret’d) at the Brisbane commemorative dinner event.

“Seventy years ago today, the Second World War was declared officially over with the Japanese Government accepting terms of surrender,” Senator Ronaldson said.

“This was a time of both celebration and sadness in Australia. Nearly one million Australians served in the Second World War, with about 30,000 of those being captured as Prisoners of War (POW) and 40,000 making the supreme sacrifice over the six-year long conflict.

“The end of the Second World War brought to an end one of the most destructive wars in human history. For Australia, which came under direct military threat for the first time during 1942 and 1943, the end of the war brought about enormous social and economic change.

“Today we remember all of those who served in defence of our nation. We honour their service and pay our respects to the families of those who lost a loved one.

“To the Second World War veterans who are still with us today, we say thank you. We will not forget what you have done for our country,” Senator Ronaldson said.

The Minister thanked the RSL for their support in coordinating events to mark this special anniversary.

“I am delighted that the Australian Government was able to support the RSL with funding for this commemorative event, and others around the country, which honour those who served in the Second World War,” Senator Ronaldson said.

“These events provide our remaining Second World War veterans, and their families, the opportunity to reflect on this important time in our history and to be respectfully acknowledged by a grateful nation.”

Media enquiries:

Minister Ronaldson: Mark Lee 02 6277 7820 or 0408 547 381

Department of Veterans’ Affairs Media: 02 6289 6203

Veterans and Veterans Families Counselling Service (VVCS) and Veterans Line can be reached 24 hours a day across Australia for crisis support and free and confidential counselling. Phone 1800 011 046

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