The history behind Victory in Europe Day and how to celebrate during Covid-19


The history behind Victory in Europe Day and how to celebrate during Covid-19

In a radio address to the nation, Churchill said: “My dear friends, this is your hour. We may allow ourselves a brief period of rejoicing.”

VE Day has since been celebrated annually in commemoration of the Armed Forces and navy personnel who lost their lives in battle.

How will VE Day be celebrated this year?

Due to the pandemic public celebrations will not be able to take place, much like the 75th anniversary in 2020. 

Lockdown restrictions currently only allow groups of six, or a larger group of up to 10 people from two households, to meet outside in gardens and public areas. So socially distanced  VEcelebrations between families and friends could take place if they follow the guidelines.

However, the Royal British Legion Industries are asking people to place a ‘Tommy’ figure – a silhouette of a First World War soldier – in their window to “celebrate a remarkable generation”. 

Some organisations will also be holding events online or inviting people to take part in virtual fundraisers or to support charities.

The RAF Association charity will host online VE celebrations on its Facebook page this Saturday, May 8 from 10am, including a low-impact fitness session, a virtual quiz and a singalong. While Care for Veterans is inviting runners to take part in a 10k virtual challenge on 8 May, to raise funds to support the charity’s nursing and rehabilitation services for ex-service personnel.

How has VE Day been recognised in recent years?

VE Day is commemorated each year with street parties, community gatherings and acknowledgement from the Armed Forces.

The most recent significant celebrations were in 2015 when the 70th anniversary of VE Day was marked with three days of events.

The Queen joined 1,000 veterans and their families in a service of thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey, and a military parade passed through Westminster towards Buckingham Palace.

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