VICTORIAN veterans have vowed not to let the 75th anniversary of Victory in the Pacific pass quietly even as the pandemic stymies chances to gather.
Saturday marks three-quarters of a century since the day the guns fell silent in in the war against Japan, officially marking the end of World War Two.
Thirty nine thousand Australian military personnel were killed during the six year conflict that has often been described as the most catastrophic military action in human history.
There were more than 20 million military deaths in the combined European and Pacific wars against the axis of Germany, Italy and Japan but a further estimated 30 million civilians also died in the conflict.
This all came to an end with Japan's acceptance of the terms of unconditional surrender on August 14 1945. Victory in the Pacific day was celebrated on the following day but the signing of the surrender by Japan aboard the USS Missouri did not take place until September 2.
RSL branches across the state are encouraging people to tune in to a specially-produced live stream service at 10.20am on Saturday from Melbourne's Shrine of Remembrance.
Crowds will not be able to gather at Melbourne's shrine they way they did in 1945, when more than 100,000 people filled its grounds and surrounding streets.
"No seating could be arranged at such short notice for so great a crowd," one newspaper of the day observed.
Shrine chief executive Dean Lee said that service took place the day after peace was announced and that many people across Victoria had celebrated.
"People were relieved. That was the overwhelming feeling. On the Thursday they came to the Shrine for the service," he said.
"It was a very peaceful and reflective crowd. It was quite silent and reverent throughout the entire service."
This year's commemorations would obviously be different but that the RSL had created a high-quality broadcast, Mr Lee said.
"There's also going to be a number of wonderful pieces covering the experiences of World War Two veterans," he said.
There are lessons that people can take from the way ordinary Australians handled the war years, Mr Lee said.
"I think there are comparisons in human behaviour. When people collectively face times of threat and challenge it does alter our perceptions of society," he said.
"Resilience, community support, respecting the rule of law and government. These are basically lessons about doing all we can to protect and support one another."
People can also visit major virtual cultural events and exhibitions, including WWII at Home, which will explore 18 Victorian sites of significance and which launches on Saturday.
To learn more, visit www.vic.gov.au/75th-anniversary-end-world-war-two-wwii