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Two minutes of silence at noon [15 August 1995] to remember heroic generation

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MEDIA RELEASET he H on C on S ciacca MP M in is t e r for V e t e r a n s ' A ffa ir s C35/95 23 July, 1995

TWO MINUTES OF SILENCE A T NOON TO REMEMBER HEROIC GENERATION As a mark of respect to that heroic generation of 1939 to 1945, Australians are being urged to observed two minutes of silence at midday (Eastern Standard

Time) on the 50th anniversary of Victory in the Pacific Day, August 15.

The Minister for Veterans' Affairs, Con Sciacca, called on all Australians whether they were in capital cities, regional centres, country towns or in the suburbs to show their thanks to those men and women who won us our freedom

and 50 years of peace in Australia by observing the two minute silence.

"This is our chance - 50 years on - to come together for two minutes of silence and reflect, as a nation, on the achievements of tirose men and women between 1939 and 1945 who were united for the common cause of protecting Australia's way of life, our institutions and striving for peace," Mr Sciacca said.

"Approximately 40,000 names of Australians who died during the war are recorded on the Roll of Honour at the Australian War- Memorial, about one million people were under arms and many more people worked tirelessly to sustain the war effort at home and bring up families. -

"Those of us who were bom after tire end of World War II have fortunately never had to go through the experiences that our older generation faced. However, it is incumbent upon us to remember them and those six years of war so we can preserve the principles of freedom and peace as we look forward to the future."

Mi· Sciacca said many communities around Australia had already incorporated the two minutes of silence at midday in their VP-Day calendar.

"Some communities have decided to sound air raid sirens before the two minute silence as a symbolic gesture to mark those war years. At the end of the two minute silence car horns will sound and church bells will ring to symbolise the coming of peace.

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"I would like all communities around Australia to adopt a similar symbolic theme. Some communities might like to sing Auld Lang Syne at the end of the two minute silence," he said.

Mr Sciacca said he hoped that State and Territory Governments, Local Governments, the business community, church leaders and the union movement would get behind the two minute silence and encourage the people of Australia to unite again for this important 50th anniversary of the end of World War Π.

Media Adviser: Amanda Lampe (06) 277 7820 (W) (0411)241 356 (06) 273 3966 (H)