Victory in Europe Day/ VE Day took place on 8 May 1945. It was a public holiday and day of celebration to mark the defeat of Germany by the Allied forces in World War 2.
VE Day marked the formal conclusion of the war with Germany and brought to an end six years of suffering, courage and endurance across the world.
As news of Germany’s surrender spread, the war-weary British began to rejoice straight away. People ran out on to the streets, hanging bunting and banners and dancing. Church bells pealed and everyone brought out food to share at street parties.
Britain and the rest of the world are currently experiencing another deadly threat. Wartime singer Dame Vera Lynn, famous for singing ‘We’ll meet again’ compared the two experiences, “I sense we are again pulling together as a nation now, in the face of a very different but similarly deadly modern enemy, coronavirus: the biggest threat to our way of life in decades."
"When we've finally emerged triumphant from the current crisis - as we surely will, although right now it might be hard to glimpse much light at the end of the tunnel - perhaps we can throw a similar victory party."
You could join in with the VE Day celebrations and also give hope to everyone during these troubled times by getting involved in the A UK-wide singalong to Vera Lynn’s ‘We’ll Meet Again at 9pm on Friday 8 May. There are a host of other activities and ideas to mark the occasion including VE Day bunting and ‘The Nation’s Toast’! - just follow the links below.
Stay safe and remember We’ll meet again!
The Royal British Legion have produced a powerpoint with information about VE Day - you can watch it here
Because of the current situation many of the planned celebrations have had to be cancelled, however the Nation's Toast is still going ahead, as the organisers explain -
"We are also encouraging all those taking part to undertake the ‘Nation’s Toast to the Heroes of WW2’ at 3pm on the 8th May, from the safety of their own home by standing up and raise a glass of refreshment of their choice and undertake the following ‘Toast’ – “To those who gave so much, we thank you,” using this unique opportunity to pay tribute to the many millions at home and abroad that gave so much to ensure we all enjoy and share the freedom we have today."
Why not take a photo of you and your family making the toast and email it to email@example.com together with your name, so that we could share it here and on our Facebook page and send you a certificate for having made the toast.
Read more about what had been planned for this day here
Many people would have been celebrating the anniversary with street parties where bunting often is an important feature. The BBC are encouraging people to make Great British Bunting and display it in their windows from 8 - 10 May, along with the Rainbows many already have. Take a look here for more information.
Again, take a photo and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org together with your name, so that we could share it here and on our Facebook page.
There are also activities for younger children to be involved here
As part of the British Legion's celebrations they are planning a singalong to Well Meet Again at 9pm. Find the words to the song and hear Vera singing it to the troops in 1943 (yes, she is 103 now). The Royal British Legion have much interesting material on their website https://www.britishlegion.org.uk/get-involved/remembrance/remembrance-events/ve-day-75
The Imperial War Museum has lots of interesting articles about the end of the war and VE Day.
On the English Heritage website, you can download a pack for a VE Day at home, with activities, information, recipes and playlists.