VP Day: Scott Morrison wants Aussies to share photos for #OneInAMillion: Wall of Respect project

Prime Minister Scott Morrison is recruiting Australians of today to help create a virtual wall of heroes from 75 years ago — starting with his own beloved Pop.

In the run-up to the milestone anniversary of the end of the Second World War, the PM today shared a picture of himself with grandfather, Gunner Leslie Smith, who served in the Middle East and the hellish campaigns in Papua New Guinea and Borneo.

He invited all Australians to do likewise on social media: to post selfies while holding a photo of a relative that served in WWII — or of an unrelated veteran whose story inspires them — and use the hashtag #OneInAMillion in a salute to the almost one million men and women who did their duty in those dark days.

The Federal Government’s #OneInAMillion campaign is launched today, two weeks out from the August 15 commemoration of VP Day — when the Allies achieved Victory in the Pacific and the fighting stopped.


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“From the declaration of war in 1939, to the long awaited words of Prime Minister Ben Chifley, ‘the war is over’ on 15 August 1945, almost one million Australians served in the Second World War,” Mr Morrison said.

“This service was at a time when our national population was only seven million people, making their story truly remarkable, and their service and sacrifice something we should never forget.”

The #OneInAMillion: Wall of Respect project is a chance to explore family histories or discover countless other heroes of Australia’s war, according to Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Darren Chester.

“If you don’t have a family member who served, take a moment to learn more about a veteran who did serve and their story.”

Many such stories are highlighted in an innovative second part of the campaign, which features animated reimaginings of key moments in the war as the voices of real people involved narrate the unfolding events.

The characters involved include Roden Cutler VC, Sir William Keys and Vivian Bullwinkel AO — sole survivor of the horrific Bangka Island massacre in which 21 Australian nurses were murdered by the Japanese.

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