How to celebrate VE Day at home
May bank holiday celebrates 75 years since Allies won WW2
Friday 8 May marks 75 years since the end of the Second World War, nearly six years of conflict between the winning Allies and defeated Axis Powers, including Nazi Germany.
Victory in Europe Day, or VE Day, celebrations were due to take place across the 8 to 10 May weekend, but public events have now been cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Instead, people are being encouraged by event organisers to mark the occasion at home in a “shared moment of celebration”.
Here is how you can take part:
VE Day 75 are encouraging people to take part in a “Nation’s Toast to the Heroes of WW2” at 3pm on 8 May, from the safety of their own home.
Participants can stand up and raise a glass, saying: “To those who gave so much, we thank you.”
This is a “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”, says Bruno Peek, pageantmaster of VE Day 75.
Great British Bunting
Another way to get involved is making your own “special VE Day 75 ‘Great British Bunting’ to display in your window at home”, says the BBC.
While most events and street parties have had to be cancelled or postponed, the BBC still wants “you to be able to mark the occasion, share your pride in our country and honour the men and women of WW2”.
The broadcaster provides a bunting template, instructions, a step-by-step guide and the option to send your bunting photographs to the BBC.
Stay at home street party
The Royal British Legion has called for people to host “Stay at Home” street parties in their front gardens to celebrate the 75th anniversary of VE Day, reports the Diss Mercury.
The charity is encouraging people to decorate their houses in red, white and blue and have a picnic in their front gardens to mark the occasion.
Vera Lynn singalong
There will also be a UK-wide rendition of Dame Vera Lynn’s We’ll Meet Again at 9pm on the 8 May.
The song was recently referenced by the Queen in her address to the nation on coronavirus.
“Take comfort that while we may have more still to endure, better days will return... we will meet again,” the Queen said.
Join in the livestream
The British Legion is encouraging Britons to “grab a cup of tea and join us for a 45-minute stream as we bring the World War Two generation together with today’s generation to chat about their shared experiences”.
The charity will share stories and memories from those who served and sacrificed over the course the Second World War, while recognising difficulties people are facing today.
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Remember through learning
The Legion has also provided VE Day resources for young people, providing an overview of VE Day and its continued relevance today.
“Students can explore what VE Day meant to different countries, communities and people through first-hand written and film accounts, striking photographs and carefully-crafted activities,” says the Legion’s website.
Resources are available for teachers, as well as parents and carers who are teaching children at home due to the coronavirus pandemic.