VE Day celebrations with a difference

VE Day 2020 Angus grandfather 07/05/2020

I was searching the internet the other day and came across a VE Day photograph of my grandfather, who was mayor of Swindon at the time, at one of the 125 celebration parties held around the town to mark the end of the Second World War, and he apparently attended them all.

It was a great day.

On Friday (8 May), we commemorate that special time again.  A day where our county, our nation came together to celebrate the return of our freedom and our independence - in fact our very existence as a people.

Sadly, that very existence has been curtailed for this bank holiday due to Covid-19. 

I appreciate that although a world war is different to a pandemic, there are many similarities too - good and bad.

The coronavirus situation, has meant many sacrifices have had to be made; in 2020, we are all being called on to unite to make a different kind of sacrifice for our own self-preservation, and with time and patience, we will come out of this - like we did back in 1945.  In the meantime, we have to stick to the guidance - stay at home to save lives and protect our NHS. 

Of course, it is sad that we can't celebrate VE Day like we would have done normally with that same freedom and independence we have all taken for granted.  We have to mark this occasion in a more muted way, at home with those within our household. Although it won't be the same as joining family for a big party, friends down the pub or neighbours in your street - we can still all get the bunting out, pour a glass of something and enjoy the celebration safely within our homes and, of course, through the many virtual events and activities that have been planned. 

I hope the silver lining in this Covid-19 cloud will allow us all time to reflect on the many sacrifices the previous generation made and help us understand that, if we make our own sacrifices now and all do our bit to prevent the spread of the virus, we will - like my grandfather and those pictured around him 75 years ago - get through this difficult time together. And most importantly, we will help to save lives.

I hope whatever you do tomorrow to mark this historic day you enjoy it and most of all remain safe and well.

Happy VE Day!


(Photo credit: Local Studies (Swindon Libraries)). 

Published on Thursday 7 May 2020.