Islanders are being invited to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day — the day the guns fell silent at the end of war in Europe — from their homes.
To commemorate this unforgettable moment in the nation’s history, the Isle of Wight Council is supporting the national series of activities that people can take part in without leaving the house — or even the sofa.
This will allow people to mark the occasion while still following national rules on social distancing during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
Council chairman, Councillor George Cameron said: “I hope this day can be a moment of shared celebration — and a reminder that, even in these dark days, we know that lighter times will return again.”
The Royal British Legion (RBL) has organised a programme of events to help families mark the spectacle responsibly.
It includes a national moment of reflection and Remembrance at 11am on Friday 8 May, not only in recognition of the service and sacrifice of the Second World War generation, but also to reflect on the devastating impact Covid-19 has had on so many lives across the world.
Following the silence, the RBL is hosting a VE Day live stream, sharing stories and memories from those who served and sacrificed during the war.
Hosted by TV presenter Sonali Shah, the programme will feature contributions from social historian Julie Summers and cook and influencer Melissa Helmsley. The stream will be live from 11.15am on the RBL website.
Later in the day residents are encouraged to take part in a UK-wide rendition of Dame Vera Lynn’s ‘We’ll Meet Again’ at 9pm. BBC One will feature the singalong as part of its VE Day 75 evening broadcast.
Other festivities include:
- The ‘Great British Bunting’ — a BBC Local Radio initiative encouraging residents to decorate their windows with homemade bunting made from cereal boxes, string, ribbon, sweet wrappers or whatever you can find.
- A nationwide ‘toast to the heroes’ at 3pm on Friday, May 8.
As part of the commemorations, the Isle of Wight Council is also on the hunt for Isle of Wight VE Day photos, memories, pictures — anything that you have from May 1945 along with photos from your 2020 ‘at home’ celebrations.
Email your contributions to firstname.lastname@example.org or tag us in your #VEDay75 posts on social media. We will share a gallery on social media at a later date.
Councillor Cameron added: “Please don’t forget to share with us photos of your VE Day celebrations. We want to see how you’re marking the anniversary responsibly from your home or garden.”
While the council hopes people will find ways of celebrating together online, they are keen to stress the importance of continuing to follow social distancing guidelines.