Victory in Europe Day
V.E. Day is dedicated to commemorating the official end of the Second World War. It celebrates the formal acceptance by the Allies during World War II of Nazi Germany’s unconditional surrender of armed forces, on 8 May 1945. On that day of victory in Europe millions of people rejoiced the news of Germany’s surrender, and took to the streets in celebration, with parties, singing and dancing.
Prior to the coronavirus outbreak, the government announced that 2020’s early May bank holiday would be moved for only the second time in history, to the VE weekend of 8th May, in order to allow for a special three day celebration.
Pubs across the country were to remain open later and people were encouraged to host their own street parties; in London a procession was due to take place down The Mall, while St James’s Park was to be turned into a Victory Park; a display by the Red Arrows and a Battle of Britain memorial flight was also to take place; and finally the celebrations were set to culminate in a special VE Day concert at the Royal Albert Hall.
So, when we heard that the national festivities were to be cancelled, we were also sad for our own VE celebrations planned for Wareham.
At present, all scheduled plans for VE Day are to be moved later in the year, to the weekend of 15th and 16th of August, coinciding with VJ Day, (the day commemorating when Imperial Japan surrendered in World War II, on 15 August 1945).
Stay at home celebrations!
In the meantime perhaps you would all like to take part in this?
UK residents are also being encouraged to host their own ‘stay at home street party’ on 8th May. The idea is that we decorate our homes in red, white and blue, and enjoy a picnic in our front gardens. Remember though to observe social distancing from your neighbours…
You can also get involved in the celebrations by making your own VE Day bunting – download some templates from the BBC website.
The Royal British Legion is also calling for people to help commemorate the anniversary by joining in with a UK-wide rendition of Dame Vera Lynn’s ‘We’ll Meet Again’ at 9pm on VE day, when BBC One will be featuring the singalong as part of their VE Day broadcast.
At 3pm on Bank Holiday Friday, wherever you find yourselves, join the whole nation in raising a glass or cup of tea to our nation’s heroes!
Vanessa Ricketts, Wareham Town Clerk