National Celebration: May 2020
VE Day — Friday 8th May 2020
When VE Day dawns on 8th May 2020 it will be 75 years since the guns fell silent at the end of the war in Europe. Years of carnage and destruction had come to an end and millions of people took to the streets and pubs to celebrate peace, mourn their loved — ones and to hope for the future, but not forgetting those still in conflict until 15th August when it was announced that Japan had surrendered unconditionally to the Allies, effectively ending World War II.
The 75th anniversary provides an opportunity to reflect on the enormous sacrifice, courage and determination of people from all walks of life who saw us through this dark and terrifying period...
- The members of the Armed Forces and Merchant Navy from many countries who gave their lives or returned home injured in body and mind...
- The hard-working women and men who operated the factories, mines, shipyards and farms...
- The ARP wardens, police officers, doctors, nurses, fireman, local defence volunteers...
- And the countless others who toiled day and night selflessly on the home front during difficult frightening and uncertain times.
Sadly, the Covid-19 Pandemic has forced the cancellation of the public events that were scheduled across the nation to Celebrate VE Day. However, we are being encouraged to mark the event from the safety of our homes in the following ways.
Spend time in Prayer at Home
We are pleased to offer a short service to use at home on VE Day.
Make you own Bunting
Join your BBC Local Radio station initiative in making your own VE Day Great British Bunting. Download everything you need at: bbc.co.uk/makeadifference
2 Minutes Silence at 11.00am
The Royal British Legion is calling on people across the UK to join in a moment of reflection and Remembrance at 11.00am on Friday 8th May, the 75th Anniversary of VE Day, and pause for a Two Minute Silence.
Live stream at 11.15am
Grab a cup of tea and join the Royal British Legion for a 45-minute live stream conversation between the World War Two generation and today's generation as they chat about their shared experiences. The live stream starts at 11.15am on May 8th.
Toast the Heroes at 3.00pm
At 3.00pm you are invited to stand up and raise a glass of refreshment of your 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.
Musical Celebration and Sing-along at 8.00pm
On BBC One at 8pm and in partnership with the Royal British Legion, Sophie Raworth will host a unique and unprecedented musical celebration for VE Day 75. VE Day 75: The People's Celebration, will unite the nation in front of the television to salute our precious World War II generation.
At the very heart of the show we will hear a special message from HM The Queen who will speak at 9.00pm — the exact time her father spoke to the nation three quarters of a century ago.
In a truly amazing finale, the nation will unite for a very special rendition of Dame Vera Lynne's 'We'll Meet Again' as across the UK we all give thanks to our veterans and remember our loved ones.
A prayer for VE Day
Lord God our Father,
we pledge ourselves to serve you and all humankind, in the cause of peace,
for the relief of want and suffering,
and for the praise of your name.
Guide us by your Spirit;
give us wisdom;
give us courage;
give us hope;
and keep us faithful now and always.
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