Chelmsford City Council

Mayor of Chelmsford asks for support to commemorate VJ Day

Chelmsford citizens are encouraged join in with a commemoration for the anniversary of VJ Day. 15 August 2020 marks 75 years since Japan surrendered to the Allies, ending World War II. 

The Mayor of Chelmsford, Councillor Jude Deakin, is asking for people to join her in remembering VJ day by making and sending paper birds in the form of origami cranes to the Japanese embassy, where they will be assembled into a paper wreath for the Children’s Peace Monument in the Hiroshima Memorial Peace Park. 

The Children’s Peace Monument in Hiroshima is dedicated to Sadako Sasaki who died aged 12 from radiation poisoning as a result of an atomic bomb. While she was in hospital, Sadako wanted to fold a thousand cranes, as Japanese tradition says folding 1,000 cranes will grant you a wish. Sadako’s wish was to have a world without nuclear weapons. Chelmsford’s paper crane offering will join many more from around the world in her monument. 

Paper cranes can be sent to the Mayor’s Office or left at the Civic Centre reception desk before Monday 24 August 2020, when we will arrange to send them to Japan. 

Councillor Jude Deakin said: “Acknowledging VJ Day is really important. VE Day marked the end of the war in Europe in May 1945, however, many thousands of Armed Forces personnel were still engaged in bitter fighting in the Far East. Victory over Japan came at a heavy price and it’s important that we do not forget our history. 

“As a nation, we must come together to remember this day and show thanks for the service and sacrifice made by veterans, as well as paying tribute to the many lives that were lost.” 

Shortly before VJ Day, the US dropped two atomic bombs on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, to bring an end to the Pacific War. The atomic bombs killed up to 226,000 people, the majority of which were civilians. This devastating loss of life brought about Japan’s surrender. 

We have created a video to tell the story of VJ Day: https://youtu.be/1IISCOTJwb4 

VJ Day 75 is also being marked by the raising of a flag outside the Civic Centre on Friday 14 August. Chelmsford Cathedral will be remembering VJ Day on 15 August 2020 with the ringing of bells at 11am, prayers at 6am, 7.45am and 5.15pm, and bagpipes played at 6am. The prayers will be live streamed on their @chelmsfordcathedral Facebook page and will also be made available on the cathedral’s website after the event. 

Paper cranes once made can be sent to: 

  • Mayor’s Office, Civic Centre, Duke Street, Chelmsford, Essex, CM1 1J 
  • Big Ideas, 465C Hornsey Road, London, N19 4DR 

You can also deliver them by hand and leave in a marked box at the Civic Centre reception desk. 

Paper cranes must be received by the City Council by 24 August 2020. 

Wednesday 12 August 2020

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