Time of Remembrance and Reconciliation for Those Who Lost Their Lives During the Second World War

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2024 Date8 May 2024
2025 Date8 May 2025

Time of Remembrance and Reconciliation for Those Who Lost Their Lives During the Second World War

Time of Remembrance and Reconciliation for Those Who Lost Their Lives During the Second World War in
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The Time of Remembrance and Reconciliation for Those Who Lost Their Lives During the Second World War is an international observance. Its purpose is to solemnly commemorate those millions of innocent lives lost during one of history’s darkest periods, World War II. It serves as a poignant reminder of the relentless devastation of war and the indispensable need for peace, understanding and mutual tolerance among all nations. Invariably, it is also a call-to-action for each generation to uphold the lessons from these devastating events and work towards a peaceful existence.

For Australians, this observance carries significant historical undertones. Australians have had their share of the tragedies of World War II, with more than 27,000 citizens perishing in the conflict. Many Australian civilians and military personnel who survived also suffered profound physical and psychological traumas. Hence, this remembrance not only resonates with the generational stories of loss, bravery, and resilience but also underlines the nation’s strong attributes for peace and unity post-war.

In Australia, the Time of Remembrance and Reconciliation for Those Who Lost Their Lives During the Second World War is marked with sombre reverence. Remembrance services are conducted at local war memorials, military establishments, and educational institutions. Recollections of personal stories from the war are shared through a variety of mediums, broadening public awareness and imparting vital historical knowledge to younger generations. These observances, often coinciding with other national memorial days, emphasise the underlying message of this international day - the enduring commitment to peace, reconciliation, and valuing human life.

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Facts about this day

  • World War II was one of the deadliest international conflicts in history. A total of 60 to 80 million people were killed. Civilians comprised about 50-55 million of these deaths while military troops comprised 21 to 25 million.
  • Several countries chose to remain neutral during World War II. These included Estonia, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.
  • The observance aligns with Victory in Europe (VE) Day – celebrated on May 8 – which marks the end of World War II in Europe. It was on this day in 1945 when Nazi Germany officially surrendered to the Allied forces.

Top things to do in Australia for this observance

  • Visit one of the many war memorials around the world. Some popular memorials include the National World War II memorial in Washington, DC or the Cenotaph in London, United Kingdom. Another popular memorial is the Mamayev Kurgan (The Motherland Calls) in Volgograd, Russia.
  • Visit Camp Pell, the former US Army training base turned tourist attraction in Victoria that was used during the Second World War to prepare soldiers for combat in the Pacific. Camp Pell is located in the suburb of Parkville in Melbourne.
  • Visit Kokoda Trail Memorial Walkway in Sydney, which commemorates the Australian soldiers who fought and died in the Papua New Guinea campaign during the Second World War.

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