VE Day 75th Anniversary

Friday, 8th May 2020, marks the 75th anniversary of VE (Victory in Europe) Day.  After nearly six years of war the United Kingdom and its allies were able to celebrate victory in Europe following the surrender of Germany.  The Second World War did not end that day as it continued to be fought in the Far East against Japan until the 15th August 1945.
Winston Churchill in his radio broadcast on the 8th May 1945 said “We may allow ourselves a brief period of rejoicing; but let us not forget for a moment the toil and efforts that lie ahead.”  Later that day King George VI asked the nation to join him in an act of thanksgiving, remembering the men and women who had laid down their lives and said “We have come to the end of our tribulation and they are not with us at the moment of our rejoicing…Let us salute in proud gratitude the great host of the living who have brought us to victory.”
There were many events planned for the 8th May 2020 to celebrate and commemorate the 75th anniversary of VE Day, but sadly due to the Covid-19 pandemic these have had to be cancelled. However, this doesn’t mean we can’t commemorate the anniversary at home, for example you could:
* make some VE 75 bunting to put in your windows, perhaps including a photo of a member of your family who served in World War Two.
* Have your own VE Day tea party at home.
* Join in the two minutes silence organised by the British Legion at 11am on 8th May to honour the service and sacrifice of the Second World War generation and reflect on the devastating impact Covid-19 has had on so many lives across the world.
* Tune into BBC One from 8pm on Friday, 8th May for an evening of music and memories culminating at 9pm in a sing-a-long to Vera Lynn’s We’ll Meet Again.
Personally, I will be remembering my parents who, for different reasons, were not celebrating in this country on VE Day.  My father was serving as part of an anti aircraft gun team protecting airfields in and around Meiktila, Burma on VE Day and didn’t return to ‘Blighty’ until late June 1945. However, he was at home in Hertfordshire on leave on 15th August 1945 to celebrate VJ (Victory in Japan) Day when the Second World War finally ended.  My mother was at home in Holland on VE Day, no doubt celebrating that the whole of the Netherlands had been finally liberated three days earlier on the 5th May 1945 after five years of German occupation.
Perhaps you have stories of your parents or grandparents that you would like to share with your friends and family as we remember VE Day.  Maybe you had family who served during the Second World War either in the Armed Forces or on the Home Front.  Maybe a grandfather was in the Home Guard, perhaps the Bergh Apton No. 3 Platoon.
However you mark VE Day 75, remember we will meet again, hopefully soon.
Sue Stacey