VE Day Bank Holiday
Today is a Bank Holiday and if we were at school as normal, we would actually have a day off to celebrate VE Day.
Today marks 75 years since the first VE Day. VE Day stands for Victory in Europe Day. The day marks the end of the Second World War in Europe. People remember everyone who lived during the war and the soldiers who fought.
On the first VE Day, there were street parties and parades throughout the Western world - especially in the UK and the USA. More than a million people took to the streets in Great Britain, with the greatest crowds in London. The day was declared a national holiday with pubs opening late.
Even though we can't celebrate today with the street parties and amazing events that we originally hoped to, there are many ways that you can channel the 1945 spirit at home during lockdown:
Across the UK:
- 11am: A two-minute silence will be held to honour the service and sacrifice of the wartime generation and reflect on the devastating impact Covid-19 has had on so many lives across the world.
- 11.15am: The nation is invited to join in with the Royal British Legion’s (RBL) VE Day 75 Livestream. Grab a cup of tea and tune in as the generations of the Second World War and today are brought together to chat about their shared experiences. Hosted by TV presenter Sonali Shah, the 45-minute programme will feature stories from those who served and sacrificed, as well as recognising the difficulties people are experiencing today.
- 3pm: The Nation’s Toast to the Heroes of World War Two. Take part by raising a glass, cheering and clapping on your doorsteps and saying: “To those who gave so much, we thank you.”
- 9pm: A pre-recorded address by the Queen will be broadcast at the exact moment her father, King George VI, gave a radio address on May 8 1945.
- 9pm: Fancy a sing-along? After the Queen’s address, the nation is invited to come together in a rendition of Vera Lynn’s We’ll Meet Again on BBC One.
You could carry on with some of the activities from yesterday or perhaps just learn how to make scones and enjoy them with a nice cup of tea and some strawberry jam out in the garden! Enjoy the celebrations and make sure that you take a few moments to remember the sacrifice made by those who lost their lives in the war.