First News

WHAT IS VJ DAY?

- Japan · Staffordshire · United Kingdom · Myanmar · National Memorial Arboretum · Moore

As we wrote about in is­sue 737, the two atomic bombs dropped by US planes on Ja­pan on 6 and 9 Au­gust even­tu­ally forced Ja­pan to sur­ren­der on 15 Au­gust 1945.

Ev­ery year since then, re­mem­brance cer­e­monies have taken place to pay re­spect to all those who died in the fight­ing, as well as the many civil­ians who paid the price for de­ci­sions made by lead­ers of other coun­tries.

This year, there’s a ser­vice at the Na­tional Me­mo­rial Ar­bore­tum in Stafford­shire to­mor­row (Satur­day 15 Au­gust), with a two-minute si­lence at 11am.

One of Britain’s re­cent he­roes, Cap­tain Sir Tom Moore, served with the 14th Army in Burma in World War Two. “For me, VJ Day will al­ways be the most spe­cial of days, re­mem­ber­ing all those who served in such chal­leng­ing con­di­tions in the Far East,” he says. “It was VJ Day when the pain of war could fi­nally start to fall away, as peace was de­clared on all fronts. I re­spect­fully ask Britain to stop what­ever it is do­ing and take some time to re­mem­ber. We must all take the time to stop, think and be thank­ful that were it not for the ul­ti­mate sac­ri­fices made all those years ago by such a brave band of men and women, we would not be en­joy­ing the free­doms we have to­day, even in th­ese cur­rent dif­fi­cult times.”

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