UK's Cameron hails World War II veterans as Europe marks V-J Day

LONDON (AP) — Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron and the country's military chief on Sunday hailed the bravery of World War II veterans as they commemorated the anniversary of the surrender of Japan.

Cameron and Gen. David Richards will attend a service with veterans in central London to mark V-J Day alongside Prince Charles and his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall.

Europe celebrates V-J Day — the date when Japan announced its intention to surrender — on Aug. 15, though it is observed on Aug. 14 in the United States. Japan's formal surrender to Allied forces came on Sept. 2., 1945.

"We must never forget the sacrifices made and the dedication showed by those who served our country in the Second World War," Cameron said in a statement. "They fought and suffered around the world in ferocious conditions. They witnessed incomprehensible horrors. They lost their lives — and many were imprisoned. And they did all this for us — to protect the freedoms we all enjoy today."

About 30,000 British troops were killed during the campaign in Asia, including 12,500 who died as prisoners of war.

"The sacrifice of those who suffered and died for the Allied cause in Asia, remains today one of the most honored memories of the British army," Richards said in a statement.

Cameron will later attend a reception for veterans hosted by Prince Charles.