‘Nation’s Toast to the Heroes of WW2’ at 3pm on the 8th May, from the safety of their own home by standing up and raise a glass of refreshment of their 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.
However, you could take part in celebrations safely from home by joining BBC Radio Bristol initiative in making your own VE Day Great British Bunting. Download everything you need at bbc.co.uk/makeadifference.
We would like you to share your films and photos of your VE event with Weston Museum. Please get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how.
While the coronavirus lockdown means we may not be able to mark VE Day with events and gatherings, there are still plenty of ways to get involved.
Leader of North Somerset Council, Cllr Don Davies, said: “While official events to mark VE Day 75 have been cancelled or postponed because of the extraordinary circumstances we find ourselves in, it is still important to remind ourselves of the personal sacrifices and hardship people across the globe faced during the Second World War.
“It’s also an opportunity to remember what our service personnel are doing today, whether that be serving abroad, helping to set up the Nightingale hospitals, or running the mobile coronavirus testing units – they continue to serve our country.”
Cllr Davies said he was already aware that many residents are planning events in their gardens and decorating their houses as a mark of respect: “I applaud you for doing that. It is right that we all maintain social distancing by staying at home and in that way continue to support our fantastic NHS.
“At 11am, people across all generations and communities will be taking take part in a national moment of Remembrance and pause for a two-minute silence to honour the service and sacrifice of the Second World War generation and reflect on the devastating impact Covid-19 has had on so many lives across the world
“And the ‘Nation’s Toast to the Heroes of WW2’ is at 3pm, so from the safety of your own home why not stand up and raise a glass of refreshment of your choice – ‘To those who gave so much, we thank you’.”
The BBC is showing special programming throughout the day, starting with a two-minute silence at 11am.
Other broadcasts will include extracts from Churchill’s famous victory speech at 3pm, with everyone encouraged to toast the heroes, video calls with Second World War veterans, and the Prince of Wales reading an extract from King George VI’s diary from 8 May 1945.
The Queen will speak at 9pm, the exact moment her father King George VI gave a radio address 75 years ago.
This will be followed by a national singalong of Dame Vera Lynn’s ‘We’ll Meet Again’, where everyone is encouraged to open their doors and join in with the singing.
Cllr Davies added: “This is a unique opportunity to pay tribute to the many millions at home and abroad who gave so much to ensure we all enjoy the freedom we have today – something we often take for granted.
“I really hope we can incorporate some of the cancelled events into the celebrations in August to mark VJ Day.”
Press release from the Royal British Legion:
The Royal British Legion calls on the nation to mark 75th anniversary of VE Day from home
The Royal British Legion has today announced a programme of activity to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day on Friday 8th May for people to participate in from home.
With members of the public no longer able to attend VE Day 75 events, the Legion is calling on the nation to get involved from home throughout the day and pay tribute to the entire Second World War generation from British, Commonwealth and Allied Forces, to evacuees and those who served on the home front.
Activities include a VE Day 75 livestream, national moments of Remembrance and thanksgiving, and activity packs for individuals and families.
At 11am the Legion is encouraging people across all generations and communities to take part in a national moment of Remembrance and pause for a Two Minute Silence to honour the service and sacrifice of the Second World War generation, and also take the opportunity to reflect on the devastating impact Covid-19 has had on so many lives across the world.
Following the Silence the Legion is hosting a VE Day 75 livestream, sharing stories and memories from those who served and sacrificed during the Second World War, and recognising the difficulties people are experiencing today. Hosted by TV presenter Sonali Shah, the programme will feature contributions from social historian Julie Summers and cook and influencer Melissa Helmsley. The programme will be live from 1115 on the Legion’s website.
Later in the day the Legion has partnered with the BBC to honour and celebrate the Second World War generation with an evening of memories and music from 8pm on BBC One. Members of the public are invited to enjoy a moment of celebration and thanksgiving during the programme by taking part in a UK-wide rendition of Vera Lynn’s ‘We’ll Meet Again’ at 9pm.
Alongside these events on 8th May, The Royal British Legion has developed a VE Day learning pack which is available online. Designed for 7-14 year olds the pack includes first-hand accounts from the Second World War generation, veteran interviews and range of activities to allow families to explore and commemorate VE Day together.
The Royal British Legion’s Assistant Director of Commemorative Events, Bob Gamble OBE, said: “As we face some of the most challenging times since the Second World War, now more than ever it is important to unite in recognition of people’s service to the nation, just as communities did 75 years ago.
“There is no right or wrong way to take part in the Silence at 11am, some people may wish to stand at their windows or step outside their front door, but we hope that individuals and families across the UK will embrace the opportunity to share in a national moment of reflection. Then later on we invite people to open their windows wide and join us to celebrate and give thanks as we singalong to Dame Vera Lynn’s wartime classic, ‘We’ll Meet Again’, which has added poignancy in the current circumstances.
“There are many parallels between the struggles of the Second World War and what we are going through today. As we mark 75 years since Victory in Europe, we look to our Second World War generation to learn from their experiences, and the Legion continues our critical work to protect them from the threat we currently face.”
Members of the public can access the activities at www.rbl.org.uk/veday75 and on social media using #VEDay75 and #VEDay75Live during the livestream.
–Royal British Legion Schedule (NB – Additional activity will be announced by the Government)
1100-1102 – Two Minute Silence
1115-1200 – The Royal British Legion VE75 Livestream
2000-2110 – VE Day 75: The People’s Celebration, BBC One
2100 – ‘We’ll Meet Again’ Singalong
Guidance on Two Minute Silence
Members of the public are being encouraged to take part in a national moment of Remembrance at 11am during a Two Minute Silence to honour the service and sacrifice of the Second World War generation and reflect on the devastating impact Covid-19 has had on so many lives across the world.
There is no right or wrong way to take part in the Silence, some may wish to stand at their windows, step outside their homes while remaining distanced from others, watch the broadcast on television, or simply sit in a quiet moment of reflection.
Royal British Legion Livestream
At 1115 the Legion is hosting a VE Day 75 livestream, available at page rbl.org.uk/veday75 sharing stories and memories from those who served and sacrificed during the Second World War, and recognising the difficulties people are experiencing today.
The Legion is inviting members of the public to grab a cup of tea and join us for the livestream as we bring the World War Two generation together with today’s generation to chat about their shared experiences. Hosted by TV presenter Sonali Shah, the programme will feature contributions from social historian Julie Summers and cook and influencer Melissa Helmsley. The livestream will be available on the Legion’s website.
VE Day 75: The People’s Celebration BBC ONE: 20:00 – 21:10
To mark the 75th anniversary of VE day, in these unprecedented times, the BBC in partnership with the Royal British Legion will honour and celebrate the World War Two Generation with an evening of memories and music. Featuring some of those who remember this historic day, together with Britain’s favourite performers, Katherine Jenkins, Adrian Lester, Anton Du Beke, Beverley Knight, Helen George, Sharon D Clarke, Shane Richie and Emma Barton who will entertain us with popular songs of the era. In a fitting finale at 9.00 pm we will see the nation unite for a very special rendition of “We’ll Meet Again” as across the UK we all give thanks to our veterans and remember our loved ones.
‘We’ll Meet Again’ Singalong
Lyrics available on The Royal British Legion website https://www.britishlegion.org.uk/stories/ve-day-singalong
VE Day Learning Pack
Available on The Royal British Legion website page rbl.org.uk/veday75 alongside a VE Day 75 activity pack produced by the National Memorial Arboretum.
The Royal British Legion is the nation’s biggest Armed Forces charity providing care and support to all members of the British Armed Forces past and present and their families. The Legion champions Remembrance and safeguards the Military Covenant between the nation and its Armed Forces. It is well known for the annual Poppy Appeal, and its emblem the red poppy. www.britishlegion.org.uk
Here is a video message from the Mayor and Mayoress of Weston-super-Mare, Councillor Mark Canniford and Mrs Estelle Canniford.