Ponoka Legion commemorates Victory over Japan Day

Members of the Ponoka Legion took time to commemorate events leading up to the Victory over Japan (VJ Day) in the Second World War.

Ponoka veteran Walt Burchnall lays a wreath at the Ponoka Legion Cenotaph Friday

Ponoka veteran Walt Burchnall lays a wreath at the Ponoka Legion Cenotaph Friday

Members of the Ponoka Legion took time to commemorate events leading up to the Victory over Japan (VJ Day) in the Second World War.

VJ Day was held Friday, Aug. 7 at the Ponoka Legion Cenotaph with chaplain Reverend Len Eichler providing some commentary on the days leading up to the end of conflict with Japan.

He said prisoners of war had to deal with countless struggles for several years. It wasn’t until just four months after Harry Truman became president of the United States that the tide the conflict came to an end.

Truman made the fateful decision to use atom bombs on Hiroshima, on Aug. 6 1945, and Nagasaki, Japan, on Aug. 9. Just days after the bombing of Nagasaki, Japan surrendered Aug. 15.

“The Emperor Hirohito agreed to the terms of surrender and the war was over,” said Eichler.

While headlines stating “Peace at last,” Eichler said his hope is to see peace that will last. He suggests remembrance is an important tool to learn from the past.

Legion president Sybil Evans and legion member Dorothy Houghton presented attendees with a short timeline of events leading up to VJ Day explaining some of the significant dates in the Canadian effort during the Second World War.

“World War Two was a defining event in Canadian history,” said Evans, “transforming a quiet country of 11 million people into a critical player carrying out a vital role in the Battle of the Atlantic.”

After the commemoration attendees were invited to a steak barbecue and lunch.