Governor, INDOPACOM commander announce end of war commemoration

18 December 2019

From U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs

A blue-ribbon committee in Hawaii will oversee events commemorating the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II on Sept. 2, 2020.

PEARL HARBOR - Gov. David Ige today proclaimed the establishment of a blue-ribbon committee that will oversee events here commemorating the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II in September. Joining him was the honorary co-chair, Adm. Phil Davidson, commander of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command.

The war in the Pacific ended on Sept. 2, 1945, when the combatants signed the instrument of surrender on the deck of the USS Missouri (BB 63) while the ship was anchored in Tokyo Bay.

“We honor all of the men and women who have answered the call of duty and embrace the sacrifice of those who served in World War II and in the decades that have followed,” Ige said.

Commemoration events here will help honor the extraordinary determination and courage of those who fought in World War II. Organizers hope to remind audiences here and abroad of the costs and importance of achieving – and sustaining – a free and open Indo-Pacific.

“What strikes me about the 75th commemoration is not about what ended here on this deck, but actually the beginning...of a rules-based international order that means so much to our allies and partners in the region certainly, but most importantly to our American citizens," Davidson said. "It represents the peace and global economy.”

The ceremonial announcement took place on the surrender deck of the Battleship Missouri Memorial — the very location where the instrument of surrender was signed. It’s not a coincidence events then and now were conducted on the USS Missouri, currently docked alongside the USS Arizona (BB 39) Memorial. The USS Arizona was sunk on a Sunday morning, Dec. 7, 1941, in the surprise attack the marked the start of hostilities for the United States in World War II.

The men who fought in the war ultimately paved the way for a stable post-World War II international order. In today’s increasingly connected world, 100 million square miles of Pacific Ocean only seems to get smaller - economically, politically, culturally, and militarily.

There can be challenges with a smaller world, and while technology and economies have changed, some aspects of security remain the same. World War II demonstrated the costs of bullying and belligerence by any nation to others in the Pacific. For nearly 75 years, a free and open Indo-Pacific has benefited people everywhere – in the region, and across the globe.

Since the end of the war, the Pacific have evolved. Japan is a healthy democracy, a treaty ally of the United States, and a major contributor to and leader in peace and prosperity worldwide.

Today, a strong and combat-ready U.S. Navy remains deployed throughout the Pacific. U.S. joint forces and their many partners and allies exercise and operate together to ensure peace and stability that provides for a free and open Indo-Pacific.

Earlier this month, Pacific navies convened in Pearl Harbor to plan the 27th Rim of the Pacific Exercise. This summer, more than 20 nations and their navies will join together in Hawaii and the surrounding waters to improve mutual understanding, communication, interoperability, and combined maritime operations. This cooperative, beneficial approach started with the end of hostilities in 1945.

“Salute Their Service, Honor Their Hope” is the theme of the commemoration in Hawaii. Special events will begin as early as Aug. 29 and culminate with an official event on Sept. 2, 2020.

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