Today the nation marks the 75th anniversary of Victory over Japan (VJ) Day.
To support this often-forgotten part of history, West Sussex County Council is supporting The Royal British Legion’s programme of activity to mark the occasion.
These activities will allow residents to remember and recognise all those who served and sacrificed in the Far East and ultimately brought an end to the Second World War.
The Legion’s programme of activities include:
- a commemorative service at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire led by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales – broadcast on BBC One;
- a national Two Minute Silence at 11am;
- activity packs, designed for all ages, to provide an overview of the Second World War focused on the Asia-Pacific area.
Alongside the events, the Legion has launched an interactive map on its website to encourage people to learn more about this period of the Second World War.
The map not only allows residents to read stories and personal accounts from those who experienced the conflict, but also to add their own stories, messages and memories of that time.
Cllr Janet Duncton, chairman of the council, said: “As a council, we are proud to support all the great work that The Royal British Legion does to remember those who fought and supported during the Second World War.
“Although this is a day of remembrance, it is tinged with sadness at not being able to commemorate the day more widely with the community due to the current coronavirus guidelines on lockdown, but I hope that you will still join in the learning and celebrations from the comfort of your homes and make the 75th anniversary of VJ Day extra special.”
Pete Bradbury, Armed Forces Champion for the council, said: “VJ Day is so important as it recognises the veterans, and their families, who fought in the Far East conflict and risked their lives to keep us safe.
“For those residents who don’t know much about VJ Day, I would highly recommend delving into the resources created by The Royal British Legion. There are activity packs, a quiz and blog posts that give a deeper insight into this multicultural band of brothers who were still involved in bitter fighting, even after the war had ended in Europe on 8 May 1945
In West Sussex, the chairman of the county council will be attending a short act of remembrance and reflection today at 11am at the War Memorial in Litten Gardens, Chichester.
Later on, the chairman will also be attending the War Memorial in Petworth, where she will be laying a wreath.
Details of the Legion’s plans and a link to the interactive map can be accessed on the Legion’s website at: rbl.org.uk/vjday75
and residents can follow the activity on Twitter: @PoppyLegion Facebook: OfficialPoppyLegion and on Instagram: @RoyalBritishLegion or by using the hashtag #VJDay75.