VE Day 75th anniversary celebrations
Councils across North Yorkshire are supporting the Royal British Legion message to celebrate the 75th anniversary of VE Day from home on Friday 8 May.
With people unable to attend celebratory events to mark the special anniversary and many off work for the bank holiday, local authorities are encouraging their communities to pay tribute to the sacrifices of the WW2 generation throughout the day at home.
They’ve pulled together some top tips on how to ensure celebrations go with a swing and how to pay tribute to those who sacrificed so much in WW2:
- Get crafty with homemade bunting and pictures to decorate your home
- Get creative in the kitchen with VE Day-inspired retro snacks and baking treats
- Encourage your children to get involved in your family activities and use the home schooling resources available to download from the British Legion website
- Organise a virtual party by video link for your neighbours, family or friends. Don’t forget to show off your homemade decorations and bunting!
- Although street parties are not possible at the moment, if your street was planning one, you can still honour the occasion in your front garden or on your doorstep, as long as you observe social distancing guidelines
- Remember that some of your neighbours may not be in a position to celebrate. They may be separated from family and friends, or may be bereaved, or feel intimated by noise. In the true spirit of WW2 communities, look out for the vulnerable, lonely and isolated. Include them or be respectful of their wishes if they don’t want to join in and mindful of how noise may impact on how they are feeling
- Take part in the national moment of remembrance and two minutes silence at 11.00am
- Watch the Royal British Legion livestream from 11.15am - hear stories and memories from those who served and made sacrifices during the war
- Keep up to date with the day’s events on social media using #VEDay75 and #VEDay75Live
- Raise your glasses for the national toast at 3pm using the words “To those who gave so much, we thank you.” It’s an opportunity to toast the heroes of the war as well as all those making a difference today in the fight against coronavirus
- Enjoy an evening of memories and music from 8pm on BBC One
- Listen or watch the special VE Day anniversary address by Her Majesty The Queen at 9.00pm
- Take part in a UK-wide rendition of Vera Lynn’s ‘We’ll Meet Again’ just after 9.00pm. Sing along indoors or better still, from your window, doorstep or garden.
Cllr Richard Foster, Leader of Craven District Council, said:
“VE Day celebrations will be very different this year for everyone and it’s important that we all do our bit to Stay Home, Protect the NHS and Save Lives. However, we can all still remember the sacrifices made at home and abroad during World War II, and celebrate the arrival of peace in Europe 75 years ago. I’d like to pay tribute to those millions at home and abroad, including many from Craven, who gave so much to ensure we all enjoy the freedom we share today.”
Cllr Mark Robson, Leader of Hambleton District Council, said:
“We are looking forward to marking the 75th anniversary of VE Day on Friday, to acknowledge the sacrifices and bravery of those during the war and to celebrate the life we enjoy today because of their courage and tenacity. Although the planned traditional celebrations can’t go ahead due to the battle we are all fighting against coronavirus, we will join the nation in celebrating virtually with friends or with our families safely at home.”
Cllr Stuart Martin MBE, Harrogate Borough Mayor, said:
“It’s a real shame everyone has had to scale back their plans to mark this important anniversary, but it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t commemorate the occasion. Consider having a party in your own garden, with the people you live with, or catch up with your neighbours over the fence. Whatever you do, make sure you observe the social distancing rules at all times and don’t make unnecessary journeys.”
Cllr Jim Clark, Chairman of North Yorkshire County Council, said:
“This anniversary is an opportunity to look forward as well as back, particularly given the situation in which we find ourselves today. Then, as now, it is about community spirit, which we can show through remembrance and thanksgiving and standing against hatred and prejudice and for building stronger communities. I encourage people to take time to reflect and to remember in their own way.”
Cllr Angie Dale, Leader of Richmondshire District Council said:
“We hope everyone will join the celebrations for VE Day on Friday - from the safety of their own front gardens. We urge households to decorate their homes with red, white and blue and pay tribute to the people who gave so much for our country. We also ask people to stop and remember the people working tirelessly on the fight against coronavirus – our key workers in the NHS, as well as those delivering supplies, serving in shops, emptying waste and the like. They, like the war veterans, will give us our freedom once more.”
Cllr Keane Duncan, Leader of Ryedale District Council said:
“It’s important to do what we can to honour the 75th anniversary of VE day, especially since we’re all working together through uncertain times. It makes the occasion more poignant. I’m certain that people can be creative in their celebrations, whilst staying safe at home. Virtual online parties, or taking part in fun activities with members of your own household, will ensure that what the World War 2 generation did for us is not forgotten.”
Cllr Hazel Lynskey, Mayor of the Borough of Scarborough said:
“As we prepare to commemorate the 75th anniversary of VE Day, it’s a chance to celebrate the freedom we enjoy today thanks to those who gave so much during the war. We can also use the occasion to pay tribute to everyone working on the front line in the battle against coronavirus. Have fun preparing for your home celebration, embrace the ‘wartime’ spirit and don’t forget to observe social distancing and travel restrictions.”
Cllr Mark Crane, Leader of Selby District Council, said:
“When the government moved the Bank Holiday to enable us to mark this important moment, little did we know that we’d be in the position we’re in right now. But I’m sure that people across the Selby district will still want to show their appreciation for the service men and women, and those who worked so hard on the home front, who sacrificed so much during World War II. The dramatic measures we’ve all had to take over recent weeks have some parallels with 75 years ago, particularly in terms of communities coming together – it’s vital that we don’t let our guard slip with social distancing whilst marking this moment, to help protect the NHS and save lives.”