HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - On Sept. 2, 1945, World War II officially ended with Japan’s formal surrender on the USS Missouri as it was anchored in Tokyo Bay.
On Wednesday, in a ceremony aboard that same battleship, Gov. David Ige, military dignitaries and members of the community gathered to announce the creation of a committee to oversee next year’s commemoration in Hawaii of the 75th anniversary of the end of the deadliest military conflict in history.
The governor also signed a proclamation officially forming the blue-ribbon committee, a step required in order to accept federal funds to help cover the costs of the events.
“This commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the end of the war ... is really an opportunity to remember the Greatest Generation,” Ige said. “Certainly, we honor their courage and sacrifice during the war. We remember the foundations for peace that were laid that day.”
The theme of the 75th commemoration in Hawaii is: “Salute their service, honor their hope.”
In addition to the governor, those at the ceremony on the USS Missouri at Pearl Harbor included Adm. Phil Davidson, commander of U.S Indo-Pacific Command, members of the commemoration events committee, business leaders and National Parks representatives.
Davidson served on the USS Missouri early in his military career, during Desert Storm, and said it was a “great privilege” to return for the launch of the commemoration planning.
He said Sept. 2, 1945, marked the “beginning of a rules-based international order that freed hundreds of millions from tyranny and lifted billions out of poverty.”
Among those slated to attend the commemoration next year in Hawaii are at least 14 World War II veterans who were aboard the USS Missouri for Japan’s official surrender.
“As a committee, we have a tremendous commitment to also engaging our young people,” said Elissa Lines, executive director of the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum. “It is by passing on the legacy of our Greatest Generation, in helping them understand the horrific impact of war, that we can teach our young children that there are other ways to make decisions.”
The committee is raising funds for the commemorative events, with a draft budget of $2.4 million. The Bob and Dolores Hope Foundation has contributed $400,000, according to organizers.
Click here to learn more about the end of war commemorative events.
In 2016, thousands flocked to Hawaii to mark the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Commemoration events in the islands included a large ceremony at Kilo Pier, attended by hundreds of Pearl Harbor survivors, World War II veterans, and their families.