Europe

Memorial ceremony marks fall of Singapore to Japanese troops

  • British High Commissioner Scott Wightman, second from right, Japanese Ambassador Kenji Shinoda, third from right, Australian High Commissioner Bruce Charles Gosper, fourth from right, and Indian High Commissioner Jawed Ashraf, right, hold their wreaths during a ceremony to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the fall of Singapore at the Kranji War Cemetery on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017, in Singapore. (AP Photo/David Loh)

    British High Commissioner Scott Wightman, second from right, Japanese Ambassador Kenji Shinoda, third from right, Australian High Commissioner Bruce Charles Gosper, fourth from right, and Indian High Commissioner Jawed Ashraf, right, hold their wreaths during a ceremony to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the fall of Singapore at the Kranji War Cemetery on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017, in Singapore. (AP Photo/David Loh)  (The Associated Press)

  • Religious leaders, first row, and guests attend the 75th anniversary of the Fall of Singapore at the Kranji War Cemetery on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017, in Singapore. (AP Photo/David Loh)

    Religious leaders, first row, and guests attend the 75th anniversary of the Fall of Singapore at the Kranji War Cemetery on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017, in Singapore. (AP Photo/David Loh)  (The Associated Press)

  • Religious leaders participate in a silent prayers at the 75th anniversary of the Fall of Singapore at the Kranji War Cemetery Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017, in Singapore. (AP Photo/David Loh)

    Religious leaders participate in a silent prayers at the 75th anniversary of the Fall of Singapore at the Kranji War Cemetery Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017, in Singapore. (AP Photo/David Loh)  (The Associated Press)

It was 75 years ago that Singapore, the island at the tip of the Malay Peninsula that had been a key strategic outpost of Britain's colonial empire, fell to invading Japanese troops. The events live on in history books more than in memories. But for Margaret Menz, who lost her brother there, the passage of years has not dulled the pain.

Menz was among hundreds of people who attended a commemoration ceremony Wednesday at Singapore's Kranji War Cemetery, which holds more than 4,400 white gravestones of soldiers from countries such as Britain, Australia and New Zealand.

World War II veterans, their family members and officials said prayers, observed a period of silence and laid wreaths in memory of lives lost.