Sightseeing in London

Stumbling into VJ Day Parade

So this little adventure was a complete accident. It was August the 15th. Eamon and I decided that we wanted to go and have a “typical tourist” adventure. Our plan was to go and see Big Ben and look at the statues in Parliament square. Being rather inexperienced in the different historical dates for the English people, we did not realise it was the 70th annual VJ Day Festival that day.

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VJ day stands for “Victory in Japan” day. This is always celebrated on the 14th and 15th August although the actual date of victory was the 14th August. The allied nations celebrate VJ Day to commemorate the day that Japan surrendered to the Allies after almost six years of war.

I am not the type of person who waits all year for these sorts of things, I don’t add them to my calendar and I don’t go out of my way to participate. I think it is only because I am not the biggest history buff so I don’t find it interesting.

WhParliament Square - VJ Dayat I did find interesting, was that everyone else in that square was not there by accident. Unlike Eamon and I! It was so enriching to see the comradery this event evoked.

There were crazy amounts of people from all over the world flocked together and waiting for this big parade of British heritage.

The green in parliament square was decorated with world flags, flapping in the wind on this lazy Saturday. It was  so serene compared to the crowds, who were all buzzing with anticipation for what could come next. Furthermore, there was a big screen set up showing the parade progress. There were people littered all over the green, watching the screen and waiting for the big event. There we were, waiting for something that we had no idea of.

I didn’t know what part of the parade they were itching to see, but it was incredibly interesting to just sit with them and watch. Watch the mums tend to their hyperactive kids. Watch the photographers sitting so still and waiting for their perfect shot. Watching the police force talking to the civilians. This being an easy way to pass the time while keeping order in the streets.

Second world war aeroplanes flew over the square in spectacular fashion! This really set the tone for the historical moment. Loud and robust, you have to admire the enormity of these planes and the role they played in history.

Being among all of these people united for one event and buzzing with excitement, awe, impatience and eagerness to soak up whatever information they could about the day, was infectious and gave me a proverbial high for the rest of my sunny Saturday.