Day of Remembrance: WW II’s Asian theatre
American author Herman Wouk, author of many literary works on the World War II period, including the epics The Winds of War and War and Remembrance, and a veteran of World War II himself, dedicated one of his best books with these words, “The beginning of the end of war lies in remembrance.”
The resolution by the member from Scarborough–Agincourt supports Bill 79, also before this House, to establish December 13 of each year as a day of remembrance to commemorate those who suffered and those who died during the Sino-Japanese theatre of World War II. This motion and the private member’s bill it reinforces are not about who won, who was right or where and when events took place during that struggle. It is about a date: a date on which Ontarians can commemorate those whose lives were lost; those survivors scarred physically and emotionally; and those who survived and rebuilt their nations, and whose stories represent the strongest testimonial of the folly of war.
The Sino-Japanese theatre is the final chapter of World War II from which the veil of awareness in the Western world must still be lifted. Perhaps as we pause to remember the Sino-Japanese conflict each December and commemorate the victims of Nanjing, we can better grasp this exclusively Asian theatre of the 20th century’s defining conflict.
Today, China stands as Asia’s pre-eminent economy, its proud people now having global reach.
Today, Japan has accomplished through trade, commerce and diplomacy what it could never do through militarism, invasion and conquest.
Let us in Ontario use December 13 each year to assist with understanding, education, peace and progress—not just between China and Japan, not just among Asian nations but to foster peace among all the world’s nations. That’s the spirit of this motion and the proclamation bill it supports. I encourage all members to support it.