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Opinion : How are you commemorating the 75th anniversary of VJ Day?

| August 15, 2020

The Burma War Memorial in London Road, High Wycombe. (Archive picture)

Today, 15th August 2020, marks the 75th Anniversary of VJ Day.

For those younger readers, VJ stands for ‘Victory over Japan Day’ in recognition of day on which Imperial Japan surrendered in World War II which in effect brought the Second World War to an end.

15th August, the day on which the initial announcement of the surrender of Japan was made is the official date on which VJ Day is marked in the United Kingdom, however in the US the victory over Japan was commemorated 2nd September which is the date the surrender document was actually signed, officially ending World War II.

To mark the 75th Anniversary of VJ Day it was heartening to know that, according to a news article that appeared on this site earlier in the week, the ‘75th anniversary of VJ Day to be marked by Buckinghamshire Council with online celebrations‘.

It’s such a shame that the dreaded virus has put a stop to physical gatherings or celebrations, especially as this year marks the 75th anniversary of the event.

A special bank holiday was created on Friday 8th May 2020 to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day, but sadly there is no special bank holiday for VJ Day which is very disappointing as many will go about their lives as if it was just a normal Saturday.

The brave soldiers who risked their lives fighting on the other side of the world in countries like Burma were, at the time, referred to as the ‘forgotten army’. It seems that all too often they are still being forgotten to this very day, or at least not given the same level of recognition as their counterparts in the European campaign.

Monsoons, kamikaze pilots and fear of torture if one became a prisoner of war were just a few of the unpleasant things that a soldier could experience during the campaign in South East Asia.

My good self dreads to think how today’s ‘snowflake’ generation would cope if they found themselves fighting in the jungles of Burma back in 1944.

Yours truly often wonders how many of today’s generation ever think of the sacrifices and efforts previous generations made during the dark days of the early 1940’s?

If it wasn’t for them we would not have the freedom that we enjoy today indeed we should be remembering the sacrifices they made so we can live the lives we lead today.

So what will you be doing to remember VJ Day?

What do you think?

My blogs are published regularly here on the WycombeToday.com website.

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