View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Saturday, 15 August 2015

VJ Day - 70

Today is the 70th anniversary of VJ Day, when WW2 ended. Whether the two atomic bombs expedited the surrender of Japan is a matter for academic debate. I am thinking of the lady, whose husband suffered severe psychological damage in a Japanese prisoner camp, damage which propagated in her family. I am thinking of those who were affected by the radiation of the atomic bombs, up to the present day. The war may have ended on 15 August 1945, but its repercussions continue to date. Resentment against Japan continues to fester in areas of East Asia, exacerbated by that country's refusal to admit it did anything wrong in the 1930s or 40s. It took many years to rebuild Europe after 1945, many years for lives to be rebuilt following the displacement of millions across the continent. VJ Day is a milepost in history, along a rutted, pot-holed and muddy track. In a month's time, we'll commemorate 9/11, now 14 years ago. 9/11 is a direct consequence of the Second World War and by implication of the First World War. We remember. But will we learn?

Image courtesy Royal British Legion