SINGAPORE (NNS) -- Chief petty officer (selects) assigned to Navy Region Singapore attended the 70th anniversary marking the end of World War II held at the Kranji War Cemetery, Sept. 12.
The ceremony commemorated the end of Japanese occupation in Singapore and the conclusion of WWII - the deadliest conflict in human history. The event highlighted international peace and reconciliation efforts between Allied nations and Japan, and honored the memory and sacrifices of all those who perished in the war. Participants included ambassadors, high commissioners and military attaches from the U.S., the United Kingdom, France, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia and India.
"This event made me reflect on the Japanese surrender and the sacrifice that so many service members made during WWII," said Chief Logistics Specialist (select) Jonathan Magsanoc. "The Japanese humbled themselves and accepted their defeat. Their surrender signaled not just the end of WWII, but living proof that nations could come together after conflict to achieve peace and reconciliation."
The Japanese surrendered to the Allies of Southeast Asia in Singapore on Sep. 12, 1945. The formal occasion was the last major surrender ceremony of the war. It terminated not only Japan's military occupation of the region, but also the Pacific Campaign and the entire Second World War. In the spirit of reconciliation, students of Japanese schools in Singapore made 1,500 tsurus (paper cranes symbolizing peace and reconciliation) laid during the ceremony. The gesture was an example of how former combatants laid down past grievances and continue to work toward a new future of peace and prosperity in the region.
The ceremony also featured public readings of war poems, the laying of wreaths, a moment of silence, and a bell rung seven times to signify each year of the seven-year global war. Rear Adm. Charlie Williams, commander, Task Force 73, placed a red poppy wreath during the ceremony as a special guest representing the U.S. Navy.
"We remember the many service members who lost their lives during World War II and celebrate the enduring partnerships that bring our nations together," said Chief Legalman (select) James Goza. "Like Arlington, the Kranji War Memorial is sacred ground. Today is about remembering those who perished in WWII and the peace their sacrifices achieved."
Built and maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, Kranji War Cemetery is the final resting place of about 4,500 Allied military personnel who perished in Malaya and Singapore during WWII. The cemetery also honors on the walls of the Singapore Memorial the more than 24,000 war dead whose remains were never found.
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