Mayors, Leaders and Chairmen of Town and Parish Councils throughout the UK are to take the lead in local celebrations marking the 75th Anniversary of the end of the war in Europe on the 8th May 2020.
After years of fighting, the end of hostilities was officially announced on the 8th May 1945 by Prime Minister Winston Churchill, from the Cabinet Office, 10 Downing Street, London. That date has since become enshrined in history as VE Day.
The VE Day 75 weekend of 8th - 10th May 2020, will be an international celebration of peace – a time to remember, reflect and pay tribute to the millions at home and abroad who played such a vital part in achieving it. This includes the Armed Forces personnel from many countries who gave their lives or were physically and mentally injured; the hard-working women and men who kept the factories, mines, shipyards and farms operating throughout the years of turmoil; the ARP wardens, police officers, doctors, nurses, firemen, local defence volunteers and many others safeguarded the home front.
SSAFA the Armed Forces Charity - which has been supporting service personnel, veterans and their families since 1885 - is the charity partner for this series of VE Day 75 commemorative events.
The planned activities over the weekend are as follows. Please go to the VE Day 75 website www.veday75.org to see the complete overview for this anniversary:
- The Playing of Battle's O'er & VE 75 Years
- The 'Nation's Toast to the Heroes of WW2'
- The 'Cry for Peace, around the World'
- Churches & Cathedrals 'Ringing out for Peace'
- Street parties and parties in pubs, clubs, hotels, on town and village greens and in halls etc.
- Services of commemoration and celebration in churches, including the reading of the 'Tribute to the Millions' and the playing of the Last Post
From a central location of their choice, Mayors, Leaders and Chairman of Town and Parish Councils are being encouraged to lead them in the 'Nation's Toast to the Heroes of WW2', paying 'tribute' to those from their local communities that gave so much to ensure we all enjoy the freedom we have today by undertaking the following ceremony at 3pm on Friday 8th May next year. (The wording of the 'Toast' can be obtained from the DOWNLOAD page of the VE day 75 website – www.veday75.org).
2.55pm: Source and arrange for a local Bugler, Trumpeter or Cornet player to play the Last Post followed by Reveille. (These can be obtained from local cadet forces, school, brass and silver bands and other organisations such as the Salvation Army etc).
3pm: Source and arrange for a local Piper to play Battle's O'er and VE 75 Years, the new tune especially written for this occasion. (This music can be obtained from the DOWNLOAD page of the VE day website – www.veday75.org).
3pm: To coincide with the Piper playing Battle's O'er, Mayor's, Leaders and Chairman of council, accompanied by invited guests, along with the members of the general public, raise a glass of refreshment of their choice and undertake the attached 'Nation's Toast to the Heroes of WW2.' (The refreshment does NOT need to be alcoholic as we want the event to be inclusive and not exclusive involving people of all ages, races, creeds, colour and religion in the VE Day 75 celebrations next year).
7pm: Encourage your local church to ring their bells as part of the nationwide 'Ringing out for Peace' that evening too.
We believe the above will provide every town and parish with a very short, simple, reflective and meaningful VE Day 75 event on the 8th May 2020, that is easy to organise and will be appreciated by all.
You will be interested to know that the complete short ceremony above, including all elements and timings, will also be taking place at 3pm on the 8th May next year, on the top of the four highest Peaks throughout the United Kingdom – BEN NEVIS – Scotland, MOUNT SNOWDON – Wales, SLIEVE DONARD – Northern Ireland and SCAFEL PIKE – England.
All those taking part are being asked to register their involvement on the VE day 75 website – www.veday75.org to enable us to keep in contact with them, along with informing the media of their involvement nearer the time. (IMPORTANT: Those councils etc, already registered, do NOT need to do so again)
My warmest regards,
Bruno Peek LVO OBE OPR
Pageantmaster VE Day 75
Tel: + 44 (0) 7737 262 913