OTTAWA, Aug. 15, 2014 /CNW/ - The Honourable Julian Fantino, Minister of Veterans Affairs, today issued the following statement to mark the 69th anniversary of Victory over Japan (V-J Day).
"Sixty-nine years ago, Canada and the world marked two historic events: the end of the Far East campaign and the end of the Second World War. Celebration of these triumphs was tempered, however, by recognition of all that had been sacrificed to achieve them.
"From 1941 to 1945, more than 10,000 Canadians saw action in faraway places like Hong Kong, India and Burma as part of the war against Japan. On land, in the air and at sea, our soldiers were steadfast and determined in the face of some of the most difficult fighting witnessed by Canada's military during the Second World War. The defence of Hong Kong was a particularly brutal chapter in our military history. Of the almost 2,000 Canadians who sailed to Hong Kong in late 1941, more than 550 lost their lives and many more would suffer harsh treatment in enemy prisoner of war camps for more than three-and-a-half years.
"Canadians fought in Asia with heart, skill and valour. Their courage and strength of character was vital to the Allies' ultimate victory in the Second World War. We owe them our endless gratitude."
For more information about Canadian efforts in Asia and Government of Canada World Wars Commemorative activities, please visit veterans.gc.ca.
SOURCE Veterans Affairs Canada