Victory in Europe day, also known as VE day took place on Tuesday 5th May 1945. It was celebrated for the day the allied forces announced the surrender of Germany. A week earlier Hitler committed suicide leaving Grand Admiral Donitz with nothing but to admit defeat. The war that lasted for six years causing the loss of millions of lives had finally come to an end.
This year we are commemorating the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe day.
The first time this was celebrated in 1945 a crowd of 50,000 was packed into Piccadilly Circus waving flags. At 3pm Churchill broadcast to tell the nation the end of the war. King George VI also spoke regarding those who sacrificed themselves for their country. Eight appearances were made by the royal family that day waving to crowds from a balcony.
However, many widows and others who had lost love ones were too grief-stricken to participate in the celebration. In America, the day was dedicated to President Roosevelt who had recently died.
This year the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe day will be memorialized by the Queen with a televised address to the nation due to our current lockdown situation. The broadcast will take place on the BBC at 9pm. The same time George VI gave a radio broadcast in 1945. Before it was announced we were to stay at home many plans were decided.
The May bank holiday would be moved to the VE weekend of the 8th May so that a three-day celebration could take place. Pubs were expected to stay open later. A display by the red arrow was also meant to befall. In all public spaces Winston Churchill’s speech announcing the war’s end was set to broadcast. All these plans are being moved to the 15-16 August coinciding with VJ day or Victory over Japan Day.
Although this is true veday75.org are encouraging people to take part in the Nation’s Toast to Heroes at 3pm on the 8th May. From our homes we will rase a glass of refreshment and carry out the following toast, ‘To those who gave us so much, we thank you.’ This pays tribute to the many brave souls from our country and from abroad who gave us the freedom we have today. We are also encouraged to decorate our houses with red, white and blue and enjoy a picnic in our front gardens.