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Survivors commemorate 65th anniversary of the end of WWII

Japanese surrender ended a global conflict

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

Wherever survivors of the brutal Japanese occupation live attempts will be made to hold a commemorative ceremony or gathering for those with roots in the Dutch East Indies community. Although the occupation ended with surrender, the occupiers were then ordered by the Allied command to protect the civilians from third party attacks. In the Dutch East Indies, Indonesian nationalists declared independence and started a campaign of terror targeting civilians, particularly Dutch and European survivors of the camps, and their Indies supporters.

In Canada, the August 15, 1945 Foundation - Southern Ontario Branch, is organizing its 65th Anniversary Commemoration to honour those who lost their lives during World War II and, in particular, the victims of the Japanese occupation and the ensuing Indonesian struggle for independence, known as the 'Bersiap Period'.

Unlike VE-Day in Europe, there were no victorious liberators marching through the cities of the Dutch East-Indies. The surrender of the Japanese was publicized with flyers dropped from planes and by the Japanese commanders of the POW Camps and the segregated concentration camps for men (and boys over twelve years of age), and those for women and children.

The war ended after the Allies dropped atom bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima, barely convincing the Japanese Forces to surrender. Although hostilities stopped on August 15, 1945, World War II officially ended with the signing of the declaration of unconditional surrender aboard the battleship USS Missouri, in the Bay of Tokyo, on September 2, 1945.

This year's 65th commemoration will also be a celebration for all the survivors of the war, called in Dutch the ‘Oorlogsgetroffenen WO 2’, together with members of the Foundation, guests, and representatives of Dutch-Canadian veterans' organizations. The organizing committee is putting together a special program to honour those courageous ones no longer with us and to pay tribute to all still with us today. After the commemoration ceremony, organizers will offer an Indische rijsttafel buffet lunch, followed by musical performances that reflect the members' Indies culture and heritage and the culture.

Mississauga, Ontario:

The Commemoration will be held on Saturday, August 14, 2010 at the St John's Hall, 2185 Stavebank Road in Mississauga, Ontario. The doors will open at 10:00am and the event will start at 11:00am.

For further information and/or ticket reservations please contact: Wil Moens by telephone 905.569.7430 or e-mail at: wbernelot"at"

The August 15, 1945 Foundation, which relies entirely on voluntary contributions, also holds three other social ‘kumpulan’ events every year.

The organizers acknowledge a number of generous sponsors and the cooperation of many organizations, including that of the Embassy of the Netherlands in Ottawa and the Consulate General in Toronto, that have made this event possible.

White Rock, BC

The August 15, 1945 Foundation in British Columbia is holding its Commemoration of the 65th Anniversary at the Cenotaph in White Rock, BC, at the City Hall at Pacific Ave. and Centre St. on Saturday, August 14, 2010. The service will start promptly at 11.00 am, and is followed by an address and an Indies luncheon* at 12.15 noon at St. John's Presbyterian Church on St. George St., within two blocks from the Cenotaph. Please bring your own flowers if you wish to place them at the Cenotaph.

Anyone interested in participating in the luncheon is urged to confirm attendance with Dirk Doornberg at 1.604.820.4262, or Marius van Dijk van Nooten at 1.604.538.1930 as soon as possible. The cost is $35 per person for the luncheon.

Abbotsford, BC

Every year, all veterans of the various Dutch military campaigns or actions are invited to attend their reunion again at the Jan Schouten place in Abbotsford, BC. Started by Dutch marine veterans, the event was opened up to all other Dutch veterans' groups, including VOMI (veterans of the Dutch Indies actions), Wapenbroeders and survivors of the Dutch resistance during World War II. Coffee ready is ready at 10:00am, Saturday, August 14. Please register with Dolf de Vries, who will give the address of the event. Phone 604.869.2855, E-mail: burink"at"