VJ Day - lest we forget

Sixty-five years ago today World War Two finally came to an end with the defeat of the Japanese.

When I was a boy both the first and second world wars were very much within living memory, and a fair number of the older men I knew were veterans of one of the two world wars - the great war as well as WWII.

But in the last couple of years, the great war has passed from living memory into history with the deaths of the last survivors of the trenches, and world war II is beginning to do the same. The last of the people I knew who fought against the Japanese, and who survived great cruelty and mistreatment as a POW, died earlier this year in his nineties.

Which makes it all the more important that we do not forget.

We do not have to be prejudiced against modern-day Japanese or Germans, or blame them for the crimes of their grandparents' generation, to recognise that the wartime governments of both powers were amongst the worst mass-murderers who have ever existed. Their defeat saved the peoples of the world from a terrible tyranny. The sacrifices of those who fought against them and ultimately defeated them should never be forgotten.


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