Victory in Europe (VE) Day was on the 8th May 1945 and when the Allies including Britain accepted the official surrender by Germany under the Nazi regime.
After several years of war there was much jubilation in the United Kingdom as people finally got the news that the fighting was over. There were parties that lasted late into the night in London and in all the cities and towns but of course “there was no television, just the radio inside the houses and we just danced and sang in the streets” remembered one resident who was working at a naval station in Brighton.
75 years later residents in Sussex commemorated this special day in our national history quietly. Gatherings and events are cancelled due to the lockdown in force across the country. Neighbours 2 meters away from each other marked the occasion by sharing a chat and getting the bunting out and decorating their houses. In the more built up areas ‘stay home street parties’ will be held with a picnic or tea and cake outside in the front and back gardens.
Due to social distancing the only appearances is “by the Royal Airforce display team the Red Arrows, while Typhoon jets flew over Cardiff, Edinburgh and Belfast.” (1)
BBC radio 2 presenter Zoe Ball dedicated her morning show to stories of VE day and songs from WWII and played Dame Vera Lynn’s favourite wartime songs.
A single Spitfire flew over Goodwood and Chichester harbour this morning after the remembrance was marked by a 2 minutes silence across the British Isles at 11 o’clock.
The BBC is airing a special program of music at 8pm before the Queen’s pre-recorded VE Day speech is shared with the world at 9pm.
Portsmouth city council have organised a special ‘darkness into light’ experience for the Hampshire island that was an integral part of the war effort due to its naval importance in WWI and the D-Day landings .
“To represent the light of peace emerging from the darkness of war, spotlights will light up the sky on Friday 8 May from 9.30pm to 11.30pm. This spectacular sight will recall the blackouts experienced by those that lived through World War II. It’s also a reminder that lighter times will come again.” Portsmouth leaders are encouraging locals to join in with the activity by shining torches and lights near their own windows.