News

VJ Day 75th Anniversary

Published: 09 Aug 2020 00:01

Public commemorations to be held online.

An online service of remembrance and concert, as well as a two-minute silence, will lead Scotland’s commemoration of the 75th anniversary of Victory in Japan (VJ) Day on 15 August.

VJ Day saw the end of the conflict in the Far East and brought the Second World War to a close. Commemorations in Scotland will be led by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Veterans Minister, Graeme Dey.

Mr Dey said:

“The 75th anniversary of VJ Day is a time for the nation to come together to remember the sacrifices made by those individuals, from across Scotland and the UK, the Commonwealth and our Allied Nations, which ensured the peace and freedoms we enjoy today.

“All households were impacted in some way by the Second World War and it is important that we learn from those experiences so that the awful events that cost so many lives during the Second World War are never repeated.

“The whole country owes our current and ex-service personnel an immense debt of gratitude for their service and sacrifice.”

Claire Armstrong, Chief Executive of Legion Scotland, said:

“Whilst VE Day 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.

“This campaign saw some of the fiercest fighting of the Second World War and in some of the harshest conditions with many thousands of British and Commonwealth forces and civilians being taken as prisoners of war, enduring terrible mental and physical trauma.

“Victory over Japan came at a heavy price, and VJ Day marks the day Japan surrendered on the 15 August 1945, which in effect ended the Second World War.

“On the 15th of August 2020 we will mark the 75th Anniversary of VJ Day and in partnership with Poppyscotland and Scottish Government we will pay tribute not only to the British forces but the Allied and Commonwealth forces, without whom the defeat of Japan would not have been possible.

“Through our programme of events will highlight the incredible service and sacrifice made by those who fought in the Far East campaign and unite the nation in remembrance of the remarkable WW2 generation.”

Background

The Scottish Government has been working in partnership with Legion Scotland to mark the 75th anniversary of VJ Day through a series of events:

• The First Minister will feature in Legion Scotland’s online commemoration service and concert, issuing a message of thanks to our Second World War generation. This will be broadcast  on Legion Scotland’s social media channels from 10.35, followed by the online concert from 12.00 until 13:00

• Veterans and Representatives from the Armed Forces will join the Veterans Minister Graeme Dey for a two-minute silence to remember all those who lost their lives

• The Red Arrows will perform a flypast of Edinburgh, as the first stop on a UK-wide tour

• Legion Scotland will be issuing medallions in honour of those who made a contribution to the war effort during the Second World War. Applications for commemorative medallions remain open to any individuals who made an contribution to the war effort and can be made via b.ward@legionscotland.org.uk