Julian welcomes plans to commemorate the 75th anniversary of VJ Day
August 5, 2020
On 15 August 2020 we mark the 75th Anniversary of the Victory over Japan and the end of the Second World War. Working with colleagues in Government including the Ministry of Defence and the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Julian is determined that, as a nation, we come together to commemorate this highly significant moment in our shared history.
Those that fought in the War in the East often refer to themselves as the Forgotten Army. Julian is determined that as many people as possible across the nation are made aware of the significance of this anniversary and the extraordinary comradeship of those who served, both from the United Kingdom and from across the Commonwealth and other Allied nations. Collectively we will unite in a moment of reflection, remembering the sacrifices and triumphs of this great generation.
The Defence Secretary and Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport have announced a programme of activities that will mark this occasion and pay tribute to all those who served and made great sacrifices. The focal point of the programme will be a two minutes’ silence and national act of remembrance at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire led by the Prince of Wales and the Prime Minister and attended by veterans of the conflict. The programme will conclude with a special evening broadcast on the BBC to tell the story of the War in the East.
Julian would like to encourage all across York to mark this important anniversary and consider some of these suggested activities:
• Please observe the 2 minutes’ silence at 11am on the 15 August.
• Tune in to the BBC to watch the VJ Day 75 special broadcast “The Nation Remembers” live from the National Memorial Arboretum at 9:30am which will tell the story of the War in the East and include a national act of remembrance.
• Watch a BBC special programme commissioned by the Ministry of Defence, “The Nation’s Tribute”, which will be shown at 8.30pm and will include veteran stories, military bands, celebrity guests and wartime images, all set against the iconic backdrop of Horse Guards Parade.
• Find your local Second World War memorials and use the resources on this website (https://ve-vjday75.gov.uk/get-involved/) to research its links to the Second World War.
• Watch the incredible and inspiring veteran stories of those from both the UK and the Commonwealth that served during the Second World War via: https://vevjday75.gov.uk/veterans_stories/
• Print off a Thank You card from the toolkit and post a message of thanks to the Second World War generation on your social media channels via: https://vevjday75.gov.uk/toolkit/
• For children and young people, respond to a VJ Day challenge set by Historian, Dan Snow. (See this link on our dedicated website: https://ve-vjday75.gov.uk/dan-snows-vjday-challenge/)
• Share a 75 second history lesson on the significance of VJ Day, which Dan Snow will also host on social media.
Commenting on the plan, Julian said:
” Following 98 days after VE Day, VJ Day marks the ultimate conclusion to World War Two yet has rarely been marked in a significant manner. Due to it being less prevalent in history text books and Hollywood productions about World War Two, many do not realise that fighting continued after VE Day, thus leading to Allied Forces’ efforts in Asia and the Pacific being dubbed a ‘forgotten war’.
We owe it to the servicemen deployed in Asia and the Pacific, especially those who paid the ultimate sacrifice in a battle against international tyranny, to ensure that it does not become a forgotten war and that our Armed Forces’ bravery is remembered.
One way to do this is to ensure that VJ Day is marked in our communities each year.”