Seventy years ago today (August 15 in Asia), the Empire of Japan surrendered to the allied forces in the Pacific bringing to an end a conflict that had embroiled the world for almost a decade and cost as many as 100 million lives, the exact number of which will never be known. For those who fought, the many who died in combat, those who have passed over the last seven decades and the resilient that live among us today, we owe you a debt of gratitude which can never be repaid. You paid a price so that those of us who have been born since that August day would never have to truly understand let alone experience the horrors you saw. You are truly part of the long line of patriots who established and preserved the freedoms we cherish so greatly. Today we thank you for those freedoms which we enjoy every day.