Red Arrows fly over Belfast to mark VJ Day

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The British Red Arrows flew over some of Belfast’s famous landmarks as Northern Ireland marked the 75th anniversary of VJ Day.

The spectacular flypast of the Titanic building and the Harland and Wolff cranes came after several memorial events took place across the region to commemorate the end of the Second World War.

Earlier, at Belfast City Hall, a two-minute silence was held during a socially distanced memorial event at the Cenotaph.

In Co Fermanagh, a piper played in front of Enniskillen Castle at dawn ahead of a service in the grounds of Enniskillen Royal Grammar School.

Six Second World War veterans were invited to the event, including 100-year-old Burma Star recipient Thomas McBrien.

The service involved a flypast by a US Navy aircraft. Unfortunately, the clouds prevented anyone getting a clear view of the Poseidon P-8 aircraft as it passed.

Burma Star recipient Thomas McBrien
Burma Star recipient Thomas McBrien at a commemorative event in Enniskillen (Roy Crawford/PA)

Northern Irish First Minister Arlene Foster was among those who addressed the event in the heart of her own constituency.

A piper also played outside Hillsborough Castle, while a beacon was scheduled to be lit later in nearby Lisburn.

In Belfast, Lord Mayor Frank McCoubrey laid a wreath at the Cenotaph after the Last Post was played by a bugler.

<figcaption class='imgFCap'>Belfast Lord Mayor Frank McCoubrey lays a wreath at the Cenotaph at Belfast City Hall (David Young/PA)</figcaption>
Belfast Lord Mayor Frank McCoubrey lays a wreath at the Cenotaph at Belfast City Hall (David Young/PA)

After the short service at City Hall, Mr McCoubrey said it was frustrating that health restrictions had prevented the occasion being marked with a major event, but said it was important to avoid mass gatherings.

“It’s the 75th anniversary of the official end of World War Two, it was very solemn,” he said.

“We’re in difficult times at the moment and there wasn’t very many people here but I think it was very, very important that we came out and remembered those who sacrificed their lives to give us our freedom.

“I’ve no doubt, with the importance of the day, if it hadn’t been for the position we are in at the moment with Covid, there would have been far more people here today from across the city.”



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