Marking VE Day

12:56pm - 01 May 2020

While the coronavirus lockdown means we may not be able to mark VE Day with events and gatherings, there are still plenty of ways to get involved.

Leader of North Somerset Council, Cllr Don Davies, said: “While official events to mark VE Day 75 have been cancelled or postponed because of the extraordinary circumstances we find ourselves in, it is still important to remind ourselves of the personal sacrifices and hardship people across the globe faced during the Second World War.

“It’s also an opportunity to remember what our service personnel are doing today, whether that be serving abroad, helping to set up the Nightingale hospitals, or running the mobile coronavirus testing units – they continue to serve our country.”

Cllr Davies said he was already aware that many residents are planning events in their gardens and decorating their houses as a mark of respect: “I applaud you for doing that. It is right that we all maintain social distancing by staying at home and in that way continue to support our fantastic NHS.

“At 11am, people across all generations and communities will be taking take part in a national moment of Remembrance and pause for a two-minute silence 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.

“And the ‘Nation’s Toast to the Heroes of WW2’ is at 3pm , so from the safety of your own home why not stand up and raise a glass of refreshment of your choice – “To those who gave so much, we thank you,” using this unique opportunity to pay tribute to the many millions at home and abroad who gave so much to ensure we all enjoy the freedom we have today – something we often take for granted.

“I hope we can incorporate some of the cancelled events into the celebrations in August to mark VJ Day.”

The BBC is showing special programming throughout the day, starting with the  two-minute silence at 11am.

Other broadcasts will include extracts from Churchill’s famous victory speech at 3pm, with everyone encouraged to toast the heroes, video calls with Second World War veterans, and the Prince of Wales reading an extract from King George VI’s diary from 8 May 1945.

The Queen will speak at 9pm, the exact moment her father King George VI gave a radio address 75 years ago.

This will be followed by a national singalong of Dame Vera Lynn’s ‘We’ll Meet Again’, where everyone is encouraged to open their doors and join in with the singing.

And there are lots of online resources are available with ideas of things to do during the day:

  • enjoy a 1940s-style afternoon tea party - see a sample menu with recipe ideas
  • posters and colouring sheets are available to download and print
  • historian and TV presenter Dan Snow outlines a VE Day challenge.