Queen leads London VJ Day remembrance

flickr by Number 10

TO MARK the 70th anniversary of VJ Day, when Japan surrendered and World War Two came to an end, a number of events are being held in the UK led by the Queen.

Her Majesty and the Duke of Edinburgh attended a remembrance service this morning (Saturday 15) along with the Prime Minister and former prisoners of war at St Martin in the Fields church, London, at which Reverend Dr Sam Wells spoke to the congregation on how people lost their lives, limbs and liberty to allow future generations to know peace.

The sermon was delivered by the Bishop to the Armed Forces, Nigel Stock, who is nephew to a prisoner of war. He said the nation needed to remember “so the forgotten army is not forgotten.”

“We remember as we need to be reminded of what the human spirit can achieve,” Stock said.

Later a service was planned in Horse Guards Parade to be followed by a march by Far East veterans and a flypast while in Japan the Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Emperor Akihito observed a minute’s silence at a service held in Tokyo.

Although the Japanese leader said he felt profound grief at the country’s role in the war, he has been harshly criticised by South Korea and China, which said Japan had not properly atoned for its part in the war.

Park Geun-hye, President of South Korea, said Abe’s words left much to be desired.

Other UK places which had announced remembrance services for Saturday included Lichfield Cathedral in Staffordshire, Centenary Square in Birmingham, St Thomas’s Churma Burma Star memorial in Newcastle and Carlisle Castle.

Speaking to the BBC on Saturday morning, Prime Minister David Cameron stressed the importance of honouring the memory of the thousands that died serving their country to preserve freedom.

He said: “I think it’s also particularly important perhaps, this anniversary, where so many of the participants are now such a great age.

“I’m going to be laying a wreath with a 97-year-old hero from those times. I think it’s very poignant and right that we’re doing this.”

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