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Published: Monday, 17th August 2020

This year marks the 75th anniversary of VJ Day, which is the day Japan surrendered and ended the Second World War.  

On Saturday 15 August, the Mayor of Royal Greenwich, Cllr Linda Bird and Cabinet Member for Culture, Communities and Equalities, Cllr Adel Khaireh were joined by members of the Royal British Legion to lay a wreath at Eltham War Memorial to commemorate those who fought and died in the war against Japan.  

David Treadway, Secretary of Royal British Legion, Eltham & Well Hall Branch said: “On August 15 1945, the Japanese surrendered to the allied forces bringing an end to World War Two. At 11am, two minutes silence will be observed with the Mayor of Greenwich in attendance. R.I.P The Fallen.” 

To also mark the occasion, we asked residents to take part in local and national initiatives virtually. This included making origami peace cranes and sharing them on social media using the hashtag #PeaceCranesGreenwich and sending in personal stories from VJ Day. Some residents will be sending their creations to Big Ideas, where the cranes will be made into a wreath and laid at the Children’s Peace Monument in the Hiroshima Memorial Peace Park in Japan. 

Libraries around Royal Greenwich also held virtual events on their social media to celebrate VJ Day. There was an online reading of Sadako Sasaki, which was an important reflection on the war in Japan. They also held online origami lessons for making peace cranes, which are still online on Twitter for people to see and make.  

Cllr Adel Khaireh, Cabinet Member for Culture, Communities and Equalities, said: “It’s important to remember the day the world regained peace after the Second World War. So, thank you to everyone who took part in making origami peace cranes and shared their stories.”