Student Public Speeches
On Thursday August 15, 2019 Zali Peters, Year 11 Student, presented the major address at ClubMulwala for VP (Victory in the Pacific) Day.
Please refer below to her speech.
August 15, 1945…..
“Fellow citizens, the war is over….let us remember those whose lives were given, that we may enjoy this glorious moment and may look forward to a peace which they have won for us”
VP or Victory in the Pacific Day celebrates the unconditional surrender by the Empire of Japan, effectively putting an end to World War II after the devastating nuclear bombing of the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Jubilation erupted on the streets of Australia’s cities – the war was over. Never before was such spontaneous rejoicing seen in Sydney, Melbourne and the main streets of almost every city and town across the nation. This celebration signified the relief and happiness that Australia was no longer under threat.
Australian troops engaged with Japan in Papua New Guinea, Malaya, Bougainville and New Britain. Australians are most well known for their efforts in the Pacific in the Papua New Guinea campaigns of 1942: Kokoda and Milne Bay.
And so while the nation celebrated the end of World War II, today we remember the more than 500 Australians who died and more than 1400 who were wounded during these campaigns in the Pacific. We also remember the Japanese soldiers who also lost their lives on foreign soil and we hope that future generations can learn from the futility of war.
In a few short weeks I have the privilege of walking in the footsteps of heroes along the Kokoda Track. So while I am trekking with the best gear, a porter to carry my pack and plenty of food and supplies, I must reflect and remember the terrible conditions endured by our Aussie troops; the unnecessary loss of life; the bravery and compassion of the fuzzy wuzzy angels and the forging of the Anzac Legend – the qualities of courage, mateship, endurance and sacrifice.
For us to truly honour the sacrifice made by our Australian soldiers, and to ensure that they did not die in vain, we, the next generation, need to embrace these qualities. Ultimately, our words mean nothing. So, it is in our actions and the way we choose to live our lives that we can truly show our gratitude to those who have died in all conflicts, battles and peacekeeping missions around the world.
And so…. as I am walking the Kokoda Track and learning about the atrocities of war, I vow to remember the sacrifices made by our soldiers and live by the 4 words that forged the ANZAC spirit, by being kind to all, showing gratitude, helping others and being the best person I can be. As a member of the next generation, this is how I can honour our fallen soldiers, and work towards building a more peaceful world”.