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 II.
RSL branches across the state are encouraging people to tune in to a specially-produced live stream service at 10.20am on Saturday, which will be broadcast from Melbourne's Shrine of Remembrance.
The weekend will be very different to the spontaneous celebrations across the state 75 years ago.
The state is still in pandemic lockdown, so 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 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 in the streets from morning well into the night.
"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 need to be different but that the RSL had put together 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.
"It will be a nicely produced broadcast containing all of the traditional ceremonial elements like the Last Post and the minute's silence."
It would be going too far to suggest that people's experiences of COVID-19 lockdowns compare to the six years of war that people experienced to 1945, whether on the battlefield or home front.
Yet, 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."
The Shrine's service is not the only way to commemorate Australians' sacrifices this weekend.
People can also get online and visit major virtual cultural events and exhibitions, including WWII at Home, which will explore 18 Victorian sites of significance and which launches on Saturday.
Museums Victoria will launch an online exhibition about veterans who flew for the RAAF and WAAAF on the same day.
People can also show support much like they did 75 years ago by festooning their homes and streets in bunting.
To learn more, click on this link.