75 years ago the guns fell silent across Europe as the war with Nazi Germany ended six years of conflict which had seen terrible losses on the front line and at home. Hostilities officially ceased at 00:01 hours on May 8th1945 entering the nation’s history books as Victory in Europe Day.
Unfortunately, the Covid-19 pandemic has meant that most of the events planned to mark this important anniversary have been cancelled or made virtual. However, today at 11:00 hours, along with everyone else, I will observe the two-minute silence and reflect on the immeasurable debt of gratitude owed to those who made the ultimate sacrifice in our name. At 15:00 hours I will offer my eternal gratitude in a toast to the British, Commonwealth and Allied soldiers, sailors and aircrew who risked their lives and to the civilians who contributed to the war effort and safeguarded the Home Front.
The same spirit that preserved our freedoms lives on in the servicemen and women who have defended our nation since 1945. They, and the charities which support them such as SSAFA, Combat Stress, The Poppy Factory and the Royal British Legion, deserve our generosity now more than ever.
Once again, all that we hold dear is under attack – this time by a virus. By working together and respecting the hard-won values to be celebrated on VE Day, we will make our forebears as proud of us as we are of them.