VJ Day: Boris Johnson, Donald Trump and other leaders hail wartime generation in video messages

Kate Devlin
·2-min read
AFP/Getty
AFP/Getty

The UK is today urged to take inspiration from the wartime generation in the battle against coronavirus as world leaders pay tribute on the 75th anniversary of VJ Day.

Boris Johnson has hailed the courage of those who brought the Second World War to a close and delivered “peace and prosperity”.

He has joined other leaders including Donald Trump in a video to commemorate the sacrifices of the UK’s Armed Forces and Allies.

In his own video message, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, said: “It’s important that as we face the challenges of today, we take inspiration from that generation.

“Through their community spirit and their bravery and their determination for a better world they’ve shown us what we can achieve when we pull together.”

In the ‘Friendship of Nations’ video 10 global figures including Mr Johnson and Mr Trump, Nigeria’s president Muhammadu Buhari and Canada’s prime minister Justin Trudeau, will say in turn: “To all who served, we thank you.”

The commemorations will start at sunrise with a piper playing Battle’s Over at the Imperial War Museum’s HMS Belfast in London.

Military pipers will also play at dawn in India, Australia, New Zealand and Nepal.

Later the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall will lead a two-minute silence at 11am at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.

Afterwards the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight will take part in a flypast.

The Duke of Edinburgh, 99, who served in the Second World War as a naval officer, will make a rare public appearance at the event, after his retirement from royal duties in 2017.

As the day goes on the Red Arrows will fly over Edinburgh, Belfast, Cardiff and London.

Their flight path will include the home of the Chelsea Pensioners, where three Burma Star recipients live in retirement.

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