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Penang Veteran Association gathering to commemorate the fallen soldiers of World War II at Padang Kota Lama. Pic by Ramdzan Masiam
Major (Rtd) R. Sivarajan says he always reminds his children to be thankful.

GEORGE TOWN: A GROUP of 20 people from the Penang Veteran Association gathered at the cenotaph in Padang Kota Lama recently to pay tribute to those who died in World War II.

Led by retired army Major R. Sivarajan, the group sang the national anthem and raised the Jalur Gemilang to show appreciation to the national heroes.

In a symbolic gesture, they also placed bouquets of flowers at the cenotaph.

Sivarajan, who served in the army between 1965 and 1992, said the gathering was crucial to appreciate the struggles of the country’s heroes.

“We shall always appreciate our patriots’ contributions.

“They had sacrificed their lives to protect us and to let the future generation live in peace.

“As a former soldier who had witnessed the war during the Confrontation, I always tell my children to be grateful for the peace and harmony we are enjoying.”

He said the outbreak of the deadliest war in human history should always be told to the younger generations.

“The story about our national heroes who stand against the Japanese who invaded our country during World War II should be told to younger generations.

“It would encourage them to love the country and appreciate the peaceful life they are enjoying.”

World War II began with the German invasion of Poland on Sept 1, 1939. Two days later, Britain and France declared war on Nazi Germany.

It lasted for six years and directly involved more than 100 million people from more than 30 countries. It was estimated between 50 million and 80 million lives were lost in the war.

The war ended on Aug 15, 1945, when Japan surrendered to the Allied Forces.

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