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The Royal Family and Boris Johnson will join WWII veterans 75 years after VJ day


The Royal Family and Boris Johnson will join WWII veterans today to mark the 75th anniversary of VJ Day.

Prince Philip, 99, will be among those who pay tribute to the heroes who fell during the Far East campaign.

The Duke was aboard the Royal Navy destroyer HMS Whelp in Tokyo Bay when the Japanese surrendered in 1945.

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall will also attend today's service at the National Memorial Arboretum near Lichfield, Staffordshire.

For the first time since the 2012 Olympics, the Red Arrows will operate a flight route over the four capital cities of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Emperor Naruhito and Empress Masako of Japan attend a memorial service marking the 75th anniversary of Japan's surrender in World War II at Nippon Budokan Hall on August 15, 2020 in Tokyo, Japan. 75 years ago today and after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the former Emperor Hirohito officially announced Japan's surrender to Allied forces, ending the hostilities of World War II

Governor General Dame Patsy Reddy and husband Sir David Gascoigne lay flowers on the steps of the Pukeahu National War Memorial Park to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the current end of World War II in Wellington, New Zealand

Governor General Dame Patsy Reddy and husband Sir David Gascoigne lay flowers on the steps of the Pukeahu National War Memorial Park to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the current end of World War II in Wellington, New Zealand

Defense Secretary Ben Wallace lays a wreath at the Centotaph in Whitehall, London, to mark VJ day this morning

Defense Secretary Ben Wallace lays a wreath at the Centotaph in Whitehall, London, to mark VJ day this morning

Defense Secretary Ben Wallace lays a wreath in the Centotaph in Whitehall, London to mark VJ Day today

Defense Secretary Ben Wallace lays a wreath in the Centotaph in Whitehall, London to mark VJ Day today

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison lays a wreath marking the 75th anniversary of Victory on the Pacific at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, Australia, on Aug. 15, 2020 during a service

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison lays a wreath marking the 75th anniversary of Victory on the Pacific at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, Australia, on Aug. 15, 2020 during a service

During the war against Japan, 71,000 British and Commonwealth troops died, including 12,000 in captivity. Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said yesterday: “VJ Day is sometimes viewed as a forgotten victory, but this year, on its 75th anniversary, our celebrations rightly focus on paying special tribute to the greatest generation and their service and sacrifice in the Far East pay.

"These memorials are specifically designed to involve our veterans and pay as much tribute as possible to the war generation despite these challenging times."

His comments came as a poll for the Armed Forces charity. The SSAFA found that 46 percent of Britons are ignorant of the importance of VJ Day.

On the 75th anniversary of VJ-Day, the heads of state and government of the world Boris Johnson and Prince Philip will join.

VJ celebrations in London, August 1945. The news of the handover of Japan to the Allies in mid-August 1945, which heralded the end of the war in the Far East, caused even more joy and solemnity in Britain than the announcement of victory in Europe few months earlier.

VJ celebrations in London, August 1945. The news of the handover of Japan to the Allies in mid-August 1945, which heralded the end of the war in the Far East, caused even more joy and solemnity in Britain than the announcement of victory in Europe few months earlier.

In this black and white photo dated August 15, 1945, Japanese prisoners of war in Guam, Mariana Islands, bow their heads when they hear Japanese Emperor Hirohito announce the unconditional surrender of Japan

In this black and white photo dated August 15, 1945, Japanese prisoners of war in Guam, Mariana Islands, bow their heads when they hear Japanese Emperor Hirohito announce the unconditional surrender of Japan

In this B / W file photo dated May 9, 1945, American soldiers and Marines verify the identification of their dead on May 9, 1945 in Okinawa, Japan, while American cities went wild after an unconfirmed report of Germany's unconditional surrender

In this B / W file photo dated May 9, 1945, American soldiers and Marines verify the identification of their dead on May 9, 1945 in Okinawa, Japan, while American cities went wild after an unconfirmed report of Germany's unconditional surrender

Prime Minister Boris Johnson, along with nine other global figures, including US President Donald Trump, Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari and Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, recorded a video message thanking staff.

In the Friendship of Nations video due to be released before the commemorations, each leader in turn will say, "We thank all who have served."

During a series of events during VJ day on August 15, the Royal Family and Mr Johnson will lead the country in honoring those who fought in the Far East and helped bring World War II to an end.

Boris Johnson and Prince Philip will be among the world's leading figures on the occasion of the anniversary

Boris Johnson and Prince Philip will be among the world's leading figures on the occasion of the anniversary

For the first time since the 2012 Olympics, the Red Arrows will operate a flight route over the four capital cities of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

For the first time since the 2012 Olympics, the Red Arrows will operate a flight route over the four capital cities of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Mr. Johnson said: “On this 75th anniversary of the end of World War II, we pay tribute to the heroes stationed thousands of kilometers away in the mountains, islands and rainforests of Asia.

“We can't celebrate victory in Europe and we are among the last to return home today. We recognize today the valor and ingenuity of those who have restored peace and prosperity to the world in the face of adversity.

"Your immeasurable sacrifice has changed the course of history and at today's commemorations we are taking the opportunity to say what should be said each day – thank you."

The day begins with a Piper playing Battle & # 39; s Over at HMS Belfast at the Imperial War Museum in London at sunrise as part of a tribute entitled Waking Up To Peace.

Military pipers will also play at dawn in India, Australia, New Zealand and Nepal.

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall will be in a two-minute silence at 11am during a BBC televised event at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.

Mr Johnson will read the admonition before the nation falls silent, and after that the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight will take a flight over the arboretum.

The Duke of Edinburgh, 99, who served as a naval officer during World War II, will be featured on a number of large screens across the UK, including the Piccadilly Curve, along with other veterans in a photomontage showing veterans served today and when.

It will be a rare appearance for the Duke, who retired from his royal duties in 2017 and has only been seen in public a few times.

In the evening, his grandson, the Duke of Cambridge, will be attending VJ Day 75: The Nation & # 39; s Tribute, a BBC recorded program filmed at Horse Guards Parade, which featured the Duke alongside veteran testimonies and a host of famous faces We will honor and give Thank you to everyone who sacrificed so much in World War II.

Another tribute from the air is also staged: The Red Arrows rustle over the cities of Edinburgh, Belfast, Cardiff and London. The flight route also includes the home of the Chelsea Pensioners, which is home to three retired Burma Star recipients.

Other world leaders who participated in the Friendship of Nations video that aired at 10.15 a.m. include Ghana's President Nana Akufo-Addo, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Fiji's Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama and Malawi's President Lazarus Chakwera, Sierra Leone's President Julius Maada and the Prime Minister of Tonga Pohiva Tu & # 39; i & # 39; onetoa.

In a video message marking the 75th anniversary of VJ Day, union leader Sir Keir Starmer said: “On behalf of the Labor Party, I would like to pay tribute to the war generation who, through the horrors of conflict, have shown us the spirit and determination that we must always remember and always be grateful for it.

The Duke of Edinburgh was aboard the Royal Navy's destroyer HMS Whelp in Tokyo Bay when the Japanese surrendered on August 15, 1945 during World War II

The Duke of Edinburgh was aboard the Royal Navy's destroyer HMS Whelp in Tokyo Bay when the Japanese surrendered on August 15, 1945 during World War II

POLL IMPLIES ALMOST HALF THE BRITISH PUBLIC DO NOT KNOW ABOUT VJ DAY

Almost half of the UK public does not know what Victory Day in Japan (VJ) is, according to a poll conducted just before their 75th anniversary.

On Saturday, the country will pay tribute to the sacrifices made by those who fought in the Far East to end World War II.

The conflict with Japan lasted three months after Victory Day in Europe (VE) on May 8, 1945, and the brutal fighting did not end until Japan surrendered on August 15.

However, a survey of 2,020 Britons over 16 by SSAFA, the armed forces charity conducted between July 27-29, found that 46% did not know what the acronym VJ stands for.

Of these, only 5% said they would celebrate it every year after finding out what marked the day.

Meanwhile, more than half (52%) of those who weren't aware of the importance of the day said they likely wouldn't do or feel anything about the anniversary after figuring out what it stood for.

The SSAFA suggested that the results suggest that VJ Day is "slowly being removed from British history".

It was emphasized that some veterans returning from the Far East referred to themselves as the "forgotten army" due to the earlier end of the war in Europe.

This year's VJ day commemorations had to be adjusted to take into account the restrictions imposed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Royal Family, including the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Cambridge, will have a role to play in the events scheduled for Saturday.

This includes a thanksgiving and memorial service at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire, a national two-minute silence, and a flying past with red arrows.

Sir Gary Coward, Chairman of SSAFA, said: “We should all be aware of our national history, especially when it is associated with a relentless campaign and great sacrifice. VJ Day marks one such event. & # 39;

He added: “Many people celebrate Victory Day in Europe, but very few recognize or know about Victory Day over Japan.

Thousands of Allied soldiers, sailors and airmen remained imprisoned under terrible conditions, and their many colleagues fought bitterly for freedom in the Far East long after VE Day.

“Without her greatest sacrifice, life would be very different from now.

“On this 75th anniversary, let us take a moment to reflect and try to learn the lessons from this key moment in history.

"The enormous losses on all sides must not be forgotten."

“It is important that we draw inspiration from this generation as we face today's challenges.

"Through their community spirit and their bravery and determination for a better world, they have shown us what we can achieve if we pull ourselves together."

Japan's surrender came more than three months after the end of the war in Europe when Germany surrendered to the Allies following the suicide of Adolf Hitler.

The Prime Minister has welcomed the courage of veterans in the Far East to end World War II and create "peace and prosperity".

In a letter to the "Veterans of the Far East Campaign" on the 75th anniversary of VJ Day, Boris Johnson thanked them for their service.

Emphasizing the importance of the outcome of the war on Southeast Asia, Mr Johnson said, “You were the last to come home, but your successes are in the light of the glittering capitals of the dynamic region we see today.

You fought for freedom, brought World War II to an end, and brought peace and prosperity back to the world.

“All of us who were born after you benefited from your courage in need. On this anniversary and every day after that, you will be remembered. & # 39;

Because of the distance from Great Britain, the military victories in Europe and the long recent voyage home, some veterans returning from the Far East felt not fully recognized and called themselves the "forgotten army".

In appreciation, Mr Johnson wrote: “When you finally returned, you sometimes found that your experience of the conflict in Europe had been overshadowed in the minds of the people.

“When I thank you for your service, I want to remember what you have achieved.

“Today the countries of Southeast Asia are thriving faster than almost anywhere else in the world.

"This transformation would never have been possible if it had remained under the occupation of Japan imposed by the defeat of the British and Commonwealth forces in Malaysia, Singapore and Burma."

Mr. Johnson added, “These blows were so severe that many feared they would break your will to fight.

"But you survived the longest retreat in British history, marching nearly 1,000 miles from Burma to India. Then you regrouped and reformed."

The Prime Minister also wrote: "At Kohima in 1944, British and Indian forces, beaten ten to one, halted Japan's invasion of India and achieved one of the greatest weapons achievements in military history."

He added, “They have made these advances through ingenuity and daring, mastering the jungle war, overcoming malaria and solving the seemingly insoluble problem of how to fight during the monsoons.

General William Slim, commander of the 14th Army, wrote that he had "asked his soldiers for the impossible – and received it".

Mr Johnson concluded, “You know the dire cost better than I do: 50,000 British and Commonwealth citizens lost their lives in the war against Japan. Of these, nearly half died in brutal prison camps.

"But this immeasurable sacrifice has helped change the course of history and lay the foundation for the success of Southeast Asia."

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