Residents across Barnet are set to mark the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day this Friday (8 May) with commemorations at home.
Poster image of VE Day 75 anniversary date
While many physical VE Day celebrations are cancelled or postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, there will still be lots of opportunities to get involved safely - from holding a tea party at home, to decorating your home with bunting, sharing your experiences via the council’s social media pages with the hashtag #VEDay75Barnet, or tuning in to a number of special television and radio programmes highlighting this important date.
On Friday commemorations will include the country pausing in a two-minute silence at 11am, raising a glass in the Nation’s Toast to the Heroes of WWII at 3pm, and Her Majesty The Queen making a televised address to the nation at 9pm.
The Worshipful the Mayor of Barnet, Councillor Caroline Stock, said: “Commemorations for the 75th anniversary of VE Day will be very different than planned, but there are still plenty of ways for people to mark the day while staying at home.
“This is an extremely significant date in our history and Friday will give us all an opportunity to reflect on the great debt of gratitude we owe those who served, and to those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
“I wish you all the best if you are holding a tea party at home and I hope you will join with me in observing a moment’s silence on Friday morning and in undertaking the Nation’s Toast later in the day at 3pm.
“These are difficult times for many and I hope we will all soon be reunited with our family, friends and loved ones.”
Please share your moments throughout the day, including tea parties, decorations, the Nation’s Toast, and reminiscences via the council’s twitter and facebook accounts using the hashtag #VEDay75Barnet
Please also visit www.veday75.org for more information on the day.
The RAF Museum in Hendon will be marking the day with a series of virtual celebrations in conjunction with two other national military museums, the National Museum of the Royal Navy and National Army Museum, beginning on Thursday 7 May. More information can be found on the museum’s website.
Key moments on 8 May
- Two-minute silence - official commemorations begin at 11am on 8 May with a nationwide two-minute silence
- Royal British Legion Livestream – at 11.15am the RBL will be broadcasting a 45-minute online livestream bringing the World War Two generation together with today’s generation to chat about their shared experiences
- Winston Churchill - at 2.45pm BBC1 will broadcast Sir Winston Churchill's historic address to the nation announcing Germany's surrender.
- The Nation’s Toast - at 3pm people are encouraged to stand together and raise a glass of the refreshment of their choice and undertake the ‘Nation’s Toast to the Heroes of WWII’: ‘To those who gave so much, we thank you’. Barnet’s Mayor, Councillor Caroline Stock. will join in undertaking the toast via social media.
- Message from HM The Queen – at 9pm The Queen will give a recorded televised message to the nation on BBC1. This will coincide with the moment George VI made a radio address from Buckingham Palace 75 years ago
- Singalong – Following the Queen’s message, the country will be invited to join in a national singalong with Dame Vera Lynn for a rendition of ‘We’ll Meet Again’.
Ideas for marking the day
- Why not hold your own 1940s inspired tea party. The VE Day 75 website has tips on planning your stay at home festivities.
- With no street parties taking place, get into the wartime party spirit by decorating your windows and home with bunting. The BBC’s Great British Bunting webpage has templates and ideas on how to get creative.
- Be sure to give your party an authentic culinary twist with some recipes from the era. English Heritage has put together a VE Day at Home pack to help. There’s also some handy pointers to get you dancing the Lindy Hop and singing along to the Lambeth Walk in no time.