Get Ready for VE Day 75th Anniversary!... in Lockdown
We might not be able to hold street parties and no longer able to join in the host of national and local events that had been planned to mark the VE Day 75th Anniversary, but let's all unite and instead enjoy the celebrations at home and perhaps even hold a party in our front gardens?! Need some ideas and inspiration? You'll find lots here!
8th May 2020 marks 75 years since the guns fell silent at the end of the war in Europe.
Years of carnage and destruction had come to an end and millions of people took to the streets and pubs to celebrate peace, mourn their loved-ones and to hope for the future, but not forgetting those still in conflict until 15th August when it was announced that Japan had surrendered unconditionally to the Allies, effectively ending World War II.
The 75th anniversary gives our nation, and our friends around the world, an opportunity to reflect on the enormous sacrifice, courage and determination of people from all walks of life who saw us through this dark and terrifying period.
To commemorate this important time VE Day 75, a three-day international celebration, had been planned to take place from 8th May to 10th May 2020, during which we could all remember the enormous sacrifices that were made at home and abroad and to joyously celebrate, as people did 75 years ago, the arrival of peace in Europe.
With thanks to VE Day 75 for the original version of this introduction.
Very sadly, as we are all aware, the terrible coronavirus emergency has overtaken most of the plans to commemorate VE Day and the majority of the major celebrations are either postponed or cancelled.
There is some good news however, as the Royal British Legion, the BBC and many other national organisations, as well as many cities, towns, villages, streets and households, are still planning to hold special celebrations on the 8th May, all allowing us to remember and celebrate whilst still respecting social distancing.
|Find LOCAL & NATIONAL VE DAY 75 EVENTS HERE|
VE DAY 75 ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION EVENTS
The following is a round-up of events that are happening on VE Day Anniversary, Friday 8th May, which you might like to listen to, view or take part in online, on TV, on the Radio in your home.
National moment of Remembrance and Two Minute Silence
On Friday 8th May at 11am 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.
THE ROYAL BRITISH LEGION
Join the Royal British Legion’s 45 minute livestream here from 11.15 to 12 noon as they’ll be sharing stories and memories from those who served and sacrificed during WW2 and recognising the difficulties people are experiencing today.
Also on the Legion's Facebook page here.
If you’d like to be part of the broadcast on the day, visit the Legion’s Facebook page where they are asking you to leave your comments or questions.
Join in the VE Day Singalong at 9pm for a UK-wide rendition of Dame Vera Lynn’s ‘We’ll Meet Again’.
Watch Vera Lynn singing We’ll Meet Again to the troops in 1943.
Perhaps you’d like to leave your own words of thanks to remember, celebrate and honour brave men and women of World War 2 and our Armed Forces on the Royal British Legion’s VE Day message board? This link will take you there.
If you’d like to help your children understand the heritage of Remembrance, the Royal British Legion have created a series of free, downloadable lesson plans and a VE Day Learning Pack to explain to children of different ages and backgrounds why, how and who we Remember. You can find them here.
VE DAY 75th ANNIVERSARY WEBSITE
The VE Day 75th Anniversary's dedicated website for veterans is being updated all the time. You can find special VE Day 75 events taking place across the UK on 8th May including Buglers playing The Last Post & Reveille from the top of the Four Peaks,...
There are some fascinating facts about VE Day to be discovered on the English Heritage VE Day 75 section of their website.
You can also see some extraordinary and iconic photographs from VE Day.
If you’re going to mark VE Day at home, English Heritage have put together a fun VE Day Party At Home Pack which will help you put together your own celebrations with 1940’s recipes, songs, how to dance the ‘Lindy Hop’ Swing and a VE Day Anniversary Poster. Download the pack here.
The BBC have announced dedicated programming in the run-up to and on VE Day 75, across television, radio and BBC iPlayer to mark the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War in Europe.
At 11am on VE Day 75, Friday 8th May, BBC One TV will lead a poignant two-minute silence to mark the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War. This national moment of remembrance will pay tribute to heroes of the past and present.
At 2.45pm BBC One will broadcast Sir Winston Churchill’s historic victory speech in which he addressed the nation to announce the end of the war in Europe, which he made from 10 Downing Street on 8 May 1945.
On BBC One at 8pm the BBC, in partnership with the Royal British Legion, will hold host VE Day 75: The People’s Celebration, which will feature some of Britain’s finest performers including Katherine Jenkins, Adrian Lester and Beverley Knight.
At 9pm Her Majesty The Queen will give a special broadcast - the exact time her father spoke to the nation 75 years ago.
The event will culminate with the nation coming together to sing the iconic, and fitting, World War II favourite ‘We’ll Meet Again’.
Look out for many other topical BBC TV & Radio programmes leading up and on to 8th May.
Find further details here.
See amazing images of how Nottinghamshire celebrated VE day in the Inspire Picture Archive here.
The VE Day 75 Charity invites us all to join in the ‘Nation’s Toast to the Heroes of WW2’ at 3pm on the 8th May, from the safety of our own home by standing up and raise a glass of refreshment of our choice and undertake the following ‘Toast’ – “To those who gave so much, we thank you”. More information about VE Day 75 here.
Make your Own Bunting!
Decorate your home to celebrate VE Day with the help of:
Make your own VE Day Great British Bunting and hang it with pride over the weekend of Friday 8 May - Sunday 10 May. Share your pictures with the BBC Make a Difference on social media using the hashtags #GreatBritishBunting, #VEDay75 and #BBCMakeaDifference.
Create a street party atmosphere at home. Instructions and templates to Make your Bunting, Paper Chains, Keep Calm and Carry On/Dance On/Keep Smiling/Stay Home posters, colouring in sheets and lots more activities.
Why not make a personal bunting flag to capture and reflect your family history during the war years?
There are suggestions, ‘How to’ sheets and templates to make bunting flags.