As the 75th anniversary of VJ Day approaches this Saturday, County Durham residents are being encouraged to join in national efforts to mark the end of the Second World War.
To commemorate the anniversary of Victory over Japan, Durham County Council will be running a campaign on its social media channels to raise awareness of VJ Day and encourage people to commemorate the event whilst taking social distancing into account.
The campaign will include a vlog from Durham County Council’s Chairman, Cllr Katie Corrigan, highlighting some of the national efforts to mark the end of World War II, including a two minutes silence at 11am on Saturday (15 August) that residents will be able to take part in. To follow the council on social media, visit, www.facebook.com/durhamcouncil, www.twitter.com/durhamcouncil and www.instagram.com/durham_county_council
County Durham residents can also find out how VJ Day was celebrated locally in 1945, thanks to an online exhibition from Durham County Record Office (DCRO).
Alongside information, history videos and virtual exhibitions to mark the anniversary of VE Day on 8 May, the DCRO website brings together headlines from local newspapers, outlining the celebrations that took place on 15 August 1945. Those highlights can be found at www.durhamrecordoffice.org.uk.
As well as helping residents to pay tribute to VJ Day, VE Day and Armed Forces Day earlier this year, the council also offers support to all Forces personnel, reservists, veterans and their families through its Armed Forces Outreach Service.
Outreach workers are able to support people with a number of issues including housing, benefits, employment, schools and health and wellbeing.
More information on the Armed Forces Outreach Service can be found on the council’s website www.durham.gov.uk/armedforces
Cllr Lucy Hovvels MBE, Durham County Council’s armed forces champion, said: “The 75th anniversary of VJ Day is such an important milestone and one that we can all celebrate in some way at home. It’s an opportunity to honour those who fought for our freedom and to pay our respects to all those who have served for their country.
“Thanks to the online archives and virtual exhibitions, it is also an opportunity to look back at our history and see how VJ Day was celebrated in 1945, or learn more about those who went to war from our own communities. Many of us have experienced our own difficult times so far this year and I hope that by reflecting on this important anniversary we can focus on looking ahead to more positive experiences.”