While it's been a challenging year since coronavirus threw a spanner in the works, for many, it's also been an opportunity to put some pretty important things into perspective.
Something that has strengthened a sense of perspective for me recently is the upcoming anniversary of VP Day - the celebration of the end of World War II in 1945.
It's incredible to think it's been 75 years since that historic day; and with everything going on in the world right now, it can be easy to forget to take a moment and reflect on the sacrifices made by so many.
By no means does it is lessen the struggles people are facing during this pandemic, but it is just a reminder to appreciate a little perspective.
Hitting the battlefield with the knowledge you could die there is certainty a sobering comparison of sacrifice compared to having to stay home, or worse, wear a mask when you go to the shops.
To ensure the 75th anniversary of VP Day is not clouded by the COVID-19 pandemic, veterans and their families are encouraged to share their stories of service, to remember and appreciate the people who contributed to the Victory in the Pacific (VP Day) that brought about the end of WWII.
The NSW Government's War Memorial Register is hosting a special digital collection of stories online campaign called One Month to Remember VP Day.
Acting Minister for Veterans Geoff Lee said Second World War veterans are still living with us today and this campaign is about capturing their stories to tell future generations.
"We must not let COVID-19 get in the way of honouring their service to our nation, and by encouraging people to share their stories digitally we will create a lasting legacy," Mr Lee said.
More than 27,000 Australians died and another 23,000 were wounded, while protecting the freedoms of generations to come.
The anniversary is especially significant for Howard Bye, whose late father Allan Howard Bye was a WWII veteran and POW who worked on the Thai-Burma Railway.
Growing up, Mr Bye heard plenty of stories about the war from his father, but didn't really understand their significance until he was older.
"A story that stood out to me the most was when he told me about the bombs beings dropped," Mr Bye said. "He said everything just went so quiet in the prison camp.
"I undertook a visit to Thailand three years ago to the railway line where he worked and I got a bit of an appreciation of the hardship they actually had to put up with," he said.
For Sheila McConnell from the NSW Southern Highlands, the closest she has ever come to being in the presence of her father was when she stood at his grave in a Japanese cemetery.
A war baby, Sheila was born six weeks after her father, British Officer Thomas James Courtney was captured by the Japanese while serving his final posting with the Royal Artillery in Hong Kong with his family in tow - wife, Blanche Eva, their four children, and Sheila on the way.
It was a fateful posting that would see a heavily pregnant Blanche escaping Hong Kong on a mail boat bound for Melbourne with her four children, while her husband Thomas was captured by the Japanese.
Lieut Thomas James Courtney died as a Japanese Prison of War without ever seeing his family again or meeting his youngest daughter.
"My father never met me, but he knew of my birth," she said. "I say hello to him every day and he smiles back through [his] picture."
VP Day is on August 15.
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