It is a shame that after all the planning for the 75th anniversary for VE (Victory in Europe) Day, that celebrations will turn out to be very different (it is thought that all former VE Day plans will be moved to be celebrated on the weekend of the 15-16 August, to coincide with VJ Day – which commemorates the surrender of Imperial Japan during World War II).
In an unexpected way, the coronavirus pandemic allows us to empathise with world war two conditions in a way we never thought imaginable in our lifetime. “We’ll Meet Again” is as relevant to us now as it was when Vera Lynn first sang it.
Please make the most of the day at home (it is after all a special bank holiday). Why not decorate your house and garden? To get you started, here are the BBC’s guide to the Great British Bunting. VE Day decorations to print at home, 50 afternoon tea recipes to enjoy a picnic in the garden.
Visit your local parish or town council’s website for more guidelines in your area. Solo pipers and town criers are encouraged to continue to mark the occasion from a safe and suitable location.
National VE Day Timetable
11:00 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.
11:15 The British Legion VE Day 75 Livestream will bring the World War Two generation together with today’s generation to chat about their shared experiences.
15:00 Bruno Peek, Pageant Master VE Day 75 asks everyone to stand on their doorstep, raise a glass, and pay tribute to the many millions at home and abroad that gave so much in WW2 by toasting:
“To those who gave so much, we thank you”
BBC One will broadcast Churchill’s announcement of the German surrender which he made at 15:00 on Friday 8 May, 1945. Prince Charles will read an extract from his grandfather George VI’s diary for May 8, 1945.
20:00 BBC One’s Special VE Day programme will include the Queen’s televised message at 21:00 (the time her father spoke to the country in 1945), followed by a Sing-a-long for everyone to join in at home of We’ll Meet Again by Dame Vera Lynn
We’ll meet again
Don’t know where
Don’t know when
But I know we’ll meet again
Some sunny day
Keep smiling through
Just like you always do
‘Till the blue skies chase
Those dark clouds far away