STAFFORDSHIRE will be at the centre of tomorrow’s (August 15) national commemorations marking the 75th anniversary of VJ Day.
A remembrance ceremony at the National Memorial Arboretum at Alrewas will be screened live on BBC TV on Saturday morning from 9.30am and form the centrepiece of the national broadcaster’s morning coverage, as the Prince of Wales leads the televised two-minute silence at 11am.
Philip White, Deputy Leader of Staffordshire County, said: "It’s fitting that a day of national commemoration of Victory over Japan should begin here in Staffordshire for the county has many links with that historic conflict in the Far East – through the Army regiment that bore its name and the many others who served on land, sea and air in harsh physical conditions to bring about peace.
Not many of that generation are alive to tell the story now, but we know from our parents and grandparents what a difficult time it was at home and abroad, as the so-called ‘Forgotten Army’ fought on against a determined opponent at a time when so many people in the UK were celebrating the end of the war in Europe.
While we are limited at the moment as to how we can join together physically to mark a day that still means so much to so many, I hope everyone can find a moment on Saturday to reflect on the sacrifices everyone made in doing their duty to help one another and the equally inspiring way that different nations have worked together since then to build closer, stronger relationships with one another.”
The Prince of Wales will be accompanied to the National Memorial Arboretum by HRH The Duchess of Cornwall and will be attended by the Lord Lieutenant of Staffordshire, Ian Dudson CBE. The event is closed to the public and people are asked not to gather at the entrance.
The Union Flag will be flying from the top of Shire Hall, Stafford, and the chairman of Staffordshire County Council, Kath Perry, will be attending a local commemoration in Great Wyrley.