19 Nov 2011

Darwin bombing to be national day in Australia

9:25 am on 19 November 2011

The federal government in Australia has announced the bombing of Darwin during World War II will be a national day of observance.

The date of 19 February will become 'Bombing of Darwin Day'.

The ABC reports that next year will be the 70th anniversary of the attack by

the Japanese, in which more than 240 people were killed.

Veterans Affairs Minister Warren Snowdon says it is important that all Australians appreciate the event's significance.

"It's not really well understood by most Australians, this day will give us an opportunity to focus on it and to educate people about its significance and about exactly what happened," Mr Snowdon said.

US President Barack Obama on Thursday described the day as "Australia's Pearl Harbour".

Mr Snowdon said the Government will also provide $A330,000 to support the commemorations for the 70th anniversary.