VE Day 75th Anniversary Celebrations
The 8th of May 2020 will mark the 75th Anniversary of Victory in Europe, generally known as VE Day.
Today we give thanks to Almighty God for a great deliverance. – King George VI Broadcast on May 8th 1945
World War II, or the Second World War (often abbreviated as WWII or WW2), was a global conflict. It involved most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: The Allies and the Axis
It was the most widespread war in history, with more than 100 million military personnel mobilised. In a state of "total war", the major participants placed their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities at the service of the war effort, erasing the distinction between civilian and military resources. Marked by significant events involving the mass death of civilians, including the Holocaust and the only use of nuclear weapons in warfare, it is the deadliest conflict in human history, resulting in 50 million to over 70 million fatalities
These anniversaries should remind us that we owe a huge debt of gratitude to all servicemen and women who have served and, in some cases, made the ultimate sacrifice for us. We should remember this debt and support them in every possible way not just on specific days of the year, or on specific years, but always. The conflicts may become the stuff of history lessons but the real people involved certainly aren’t, and we must make sure that continues
Countdown to 75th Anniversary of VE Day begins.
The May Day Bank Holiday traditionally held on a Monday will be put back to the Friday and form part of a three-day weekend of commemorative events of the 75th anniversary of VE Day. This will enable people to pay tribute to those who served in one of the most significant events in our country’s history.
This will be the second time ever that the Early May Bank Holiday has been moved - the first was 25 years ago in 1995 to mark VE Day's 50th anniversary.
The bank holiday will move in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, but not necessarily in Scotland as bank holidays are devolved to Holyrood.
To commemorate VE Day 75 many events are being planned and the call has gone out to get involved. The three-day national and international event is set to be one of the biggest commemorations of the end of the Second World War in Europe and thousands of people will be taking part in a whole range of activities
Here is the programme so far for VE Day 75:
Buglers playing the Last Post & Reveille from the top of the Four Peaks and at many other locations around the world.
2.55pm Friday 8th May 2020 (Bank Holiday)
Members of the Cadet Force will pay The Last Post at the top of the four highest peaks in Great Britain. The Last Post will also be played at five of the most widespread locations of the UK – Land’s End, Cornwall; Lowestoft, Suffolk; St David’s, Pembrokeshire, Wales; the Scottish island of Unst, and Enniskillen Castle, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, and the Tan Hill Inn, Richmond, North Yorkshire.
The Piping of Battle’s O’er.
3.00pm Friday 8th May 2020 (Bank Holiday)
Thousands of pipers around the world will play Battle’s O’er, a traditional air performed on the bagpipes at the end of a battle, and VE Day 75, a tune specially composed for this event. It was at 3pm on 8th May 1945 that British Prime Minister Winston Churchill announced that the war in Europe was over.
Individual Pipers will be playing this haunting air at the top of the four highest Peaks in the United Kingdom – Ben Nevis – Scotland, Scafell Pike – England, Mount Snowdon – Wales and Slieve Donald – Northern Ireland. At the same time, thousands of other pipes will perform it at locations throughout Great Britain and counties such as Australia, Canada, the USA, South Africa, Germany, Holland, France, Spain, Belgium and Denmark. The tune will be played outside churches and cathedrals, high streets, village greens, schools, hospitals and many other public locations.
Friday 8th May 2020 (Bank Holiday)
To coincide with the playing of Battle’s O’er, and in association with the British Beer and Pub Association and its members, thousands of pubs throughout the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and the Isle of Man will be asking their customers to raise a glass at 3pm and take part in The Nation’s Toast to the Heroes of World War Two. It will be a chance for the customers of more than 20,000 UK pubs to remember the sacrifice of those who died or were wounded. It is also being encouraged others such as local authorities, town and parish councils, along with individuals and community groups etc, to stop what they are doing at 3pm on 8th May and raise a glass of refreshment of their choice and take part in the Nations Toast too.
Cry for Peace
Friday 8th May 2020 (Bank Holiday)
6.55pm (Local Time) – A Cry for Peace Around the World
Town Criers and other people around the world will be undertaking a special international Cry for Peace Around the World in all manner of locations. The many thousands of pubs throughout the United Kingdom will be encouraged to ring their pub bells and invite a member of their local community to undertake the Cry for Peace Around the World.
Ringing Out for Peace
7.00pm Friday 8th May 2020 (Bank Holiday)
In association with the Central Council of Church Bell Ringers, bells in cathedrals, churches and other locations will ring out at 7.00pm in a collective celebration of peace. The sound of bells is deeply rooted in British culture, providing the soundtrack to historic moments – calling us to pray, to work, to arms, to celebrate and, in times of crisis, to come together.
Church bells will be rung throughout our nation and around the world in celebration of the peace and friendships we share today.
Parties and Celebration
7.00pm onwards Friday 8th May 2020 (Bank Holiday)
In association with the National Association of Local Councils and One Voice Wales, town and parish councils and local communities are being encouraged to organise celebrations and parties in streets and neighbourhoods, on town and village greens, and in pubs, clubs and hotels. Those towns twinned with those overseas may consider inviting them to join in the celebrations, providing an opportunity to reinforce international bonds and reflect on the importance of peace on the occasion of this unique anniversary.
Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th May 2020
Enjoy a whole day of celebrations and parties. The weekend offers the chance to organise something really special to commemorate the 75th anniversary of VE Day.
Expect parties galore in streets, pubs, neighbourhoods, schools and village halls, perhaps with food and dress reflecting the 1940s. Wartime loaf, spam, eggless sponge cake, vegetable turnovers, curried carrots and Lord Woolton pie.
10.30am Sunday 10th May 2020
Services will take place in cathedrals and churches throughout the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and the Isle of Man in celebration of the peace we share today. We will remember those who lost their lives or returned home dreadfully wounded and pay tribute to those who put their lives on hold at home to keep the nation fed and the factories, mines and hospitals working, many of them not knowing if their loved ones would return home safely.
Those planning services are encouraged to invite other faiths from within their local communities to attend and participate. Organisers are also being asked to invite the Dean, Lord Mayor, Mayor, Lord Lieutenant, DL, High Steward, Sheriff, other faith representative or another local dignitary from their local community to read out the Tribute to the Millions.
VE Day 75 Celebration at Bletchley Park
9.30am – 5.00pm Fri, 8 May 2020 — Sat, 9 May 2020
Bletchley Park will be marking the occasion with a special themed VE Day Celebration Weekend. Join them for 1940s live music, dancing, delicious food and drink and much more as they turn red, white and blue for their very own street party.
Spirit of The Blitz - VE Day 75th Anniversary Special
Sunday 17th May 2020 Wyvern Theatre in Swindon
Wyvern Theatre in Swindon open the 1940s songbook for a tribute to the legendary stars who kept us smiling through our darkest hours. Spirit of The Blitz recaptures the tenacious optimism of war-torn Britain on the long road towards peace.
Sing along to swinging hits like Don't Sit Under The Apple Tree, Bless 'Em All, Leaning On A Lamp-Post, and of course, We'll Meet Again.
Though the whole bank holiday there are a number of events, parties and celebrations taking place. Please check your area to see what is planned, or have a quick google search [More Events Here]
It will be an opportunity for us all to remember the enormous sacrifices that were made at home and abroad and to jubilantly celebrate as people did 75 years ago, the arrival of peace across Europe.
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