UK World War II veterans to conmemorate 65th anniversary of VJ Day

August 13th, 2010 - 11:13 pm ICT by BNO News  

LONDON (BNO NEWS) — TRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, Prime Minister David Cameron, representatives of the three military Services, hundreds of veterans of the conflict and members of World War II associations will be attending a service to commemorate the 65th anniversary of Victory over Japan Day (VJ Day) taking place at the Cenotaph this Sunday.

The service will remember the efforts of hundreds of thousands of veterans operating in the harshest of conditions, and pay tribute to nearly 30,000 British losses suffered during the Far East campaign, some 12,500 who died while prisoners of war.

“We must never forget the sacrifices made and the dedication showed by those who served our country in the Second World War. They fought and suffered around the world in ferocious conditions. They witnessed incomprehensible horrors,” Prime Minister David Cameron said.

“They lost their lives - and many were imprisoned. And they did all this for us - to protect the freedoms we all enjoy today. VJ Day, the day the Second World War ended, is a time for this generation to reflect and show its gratitude to our veterans for their bravery, dedication and sacrifice.”

The gathering will also be giving veterans of the campaign an opportunity to meet long-lost comrades and remember the thousands who did not make it back.

“On this 65th anniversary of Victory over Japan, survivors of that savage war, and the bereaved, pray for those who did not return,” John Nunneley MBE from Petersham, Surrey, who fought in Burma against the Japanese following the battles of Imphal and Kohima, and is attending Sunday‚Äôs event, said.

“To them, lying rank upon rank in eternal comradeship in distant war cemeteries, or lonely in an unmarked grave, we renew our pledge; at the going down of the sun, and in the morning, we will remember you.”

The service is being organized by the Ministry of Defence along with the Burma Star Association. After the event the veterans will be hosted at a special reception attended by The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, and the Prime Minister and military representatives.

The Second World War in Asia began on December 7, 1941 with the Japanese bombing of the U.S. Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and simultaneous attacks on British, Dutch and American possessions in the Far East.

The Japanese finally surrendered on August 14, 1945 after the devastating atomic bombs that struck Hiroshima and Nagasaki and Soviet declaration of war and invasion of Manchuria. The next day, Wednesday August 15, 1945 was celebrated as VJ (Victory over Japan) Day. Japan formally surrendered on September 2, 1945 at a ceremony in Tokyo Bay aboard USS Missouri.

Victory was total, but it came at a high price. Britain suffered 90,332 casualties in the war against Japan of whom 29,968 died and 12,433 were captured as prisoners of war.

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