The 75th anniversary of VJ Day (Victory over Japan) will be recognised on 15 August 2020 commemorating the end of the Second World War
Whilst VE Day (Victory in Europe) marked the end of the war in Europe in May 1945, many thousands of Armed Forces personnel were still engaged in bitter fighting in the Far East.
Victory over Japan Day (VJ Day) marks the day Japan surrendered on the 15 August 1945, which in effect ended the Second World War.
There are many ways you can get involved with VJ Day, either outdoors while following social distancing guidance, or online.
There is a toolkit of resources and branding for your activity. It includes messages of remembrance and thanks for the WW2 generation, with celebrations at home or in your care setting. It has a range of bunting and posters to print out, as well as Prue Leith’s recipe for muscovado flapjacks.
You can submit a couple of sentences, and a photo if you have one, to remember a loved one who fought during the world wars. Or just to give thanks for everyone who fought for their country. These will be displayed on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s digital Wall of Remembrance.
Maybe you can contribute to Historic England’s digital project ‘VE to VJ Day: 75 Places that Witnessed the War‘. From ordinary places that sheltered the Blitz-weary, to well-known sites of military might, the collection will feature stories of listed places that harbour wartime histories. The final collection will be revealed on VJ Day.
There is also Dan Snow’s VJ Day Creative Challenge. What would you say to those who were involved with VJ Day and WW2 and gave so much 75 years ago?
How would you thank them? Share your messages in a creative way, which could range from:
- A video message (we were hugely inspired by the 1940’s style videos you shared for VE Day)
- A letter to a soldier or someone who served, perhaps overseas or on the homefront
- A postcard
- A poem
- Do you know someone who served in the army or supported the war effort at home? Maybe you could thanks them and tell their story
Plans for the day include:
At 11am a National Two Minute Silence led by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales will take place at the National Memorial Arboretum.
His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh will appear in a photo montage series alongside other Second World War veterans. Each veteran will be pictured with an image of themselves from their time in service in a touching tribute broadcast on large screens across the country marking the 75th anniversary of the end of the war.
Armed Forces musicians will lead the nation in a Service of Remembrance hosted by The Royal British Legion at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire. The ceremony will involve a flypast by the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.
The Red Arrows will conduct flypasts over Edinburgh, Belfast and Cardiff and will conclude their tour of the UK over London.
VJ Day 75: The Nation’s Tribute will be broadcast on BBC One. Filmed at Horse Guards Parade, alongside veteran testimony His Royal Highness The Duke of Cambridge will give an address which pays tribute to the veterans and the wartime generation, as the Nation honours, thanks and remembers all those who sacrificed so much during the Second World War. The pre-recorded programme, developed with the Ministry of Defence and involving 300 members of Armed Forces personnel, will highlight the scope and diversity of the British military in 1945. It will include a host of famous faces reading tributes, military bands and dramatic visual projection.
The Service of Remembrance at the National Memorial Arboretum, including the two-minute silence, will be broadcast on BBC One between 0930 – 1130.
Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and social distancing, this event is not open to the public and people are asked not to visit the National Memorial Arboretum. VJ Day 75: The Nation’s Tribute will be broadcast on BBC One between 2030 – 2200.
Visit the DCMS VJ Day 75 website to learn more about VJ Day and read the stories of veterans who served from the UK and the Commonwealth.