VE Day 2020
When and what is VE Day 2020?
VE Day 2020 takes place on Friday 8th May. This year, it will be on a Bank Holiday - a decision that has been made specially to honour the 75th anniversary of VE Day. This stands for Victory in Europe Day and is the day on which Allied forces formally announced the surrender of Germany, which brought the Second World War to a close in Europe.
The military surrender was first signed on 7th May, but a slightly modified document with the final terms was signed on 8th May in Berlin.
Celebrations immediately erupted throughout Britain and more than one million people celebrated in the streets. In London, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth appeared on the balcony alongside Prime Minister Winston Churchill.
What can we do at home?
Why not decorate your home in red, white and blue, and hold a ‘stay-at-home street party’, perhaps with a household picnic in the garden, by the balcony or just in the living room, remembering to continue to keep social-distancing rules firmly in place for any in the household who have been deemed ‘extremely vulnerable’ who must continue to be screened.
You could also hold a 1940s style afternoon tea party at home complete, also with home made VE Day bunting, original recipes, games, and educational and creative activities
Plan your Party: https://ve-vjday75.gov.uk/plan-your-ve-day-party/ This includes a Spotify Music Playlist plus a Menu with several recipes
Make your own bunting: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/4TrqYDyf4PMdLypxzyTwGDg/great-british-bunting
VE75 Doves - Bunting and window decorations
You can also find other resources here on the Official VE-Day website: https://ve-vjday75.gov.uk/toolkit/
Programme Friday 8th May 2020
National Two Minutes’ Silence (previously at 3pm)
The Royal British Legion will be streaming a livestream here:
https://www.britishlegion.org.uk/stories/ve-day-75-livestream from 1115 to 1200. It will also be streamed from their FB page here: https://www.facebook.com/OfficialPoppyLegion/
BBC One – A Service of Remembrance will take place at the Cenotaph in London.
There will also be a separate ‘Nation’s Toast to the Heroes of WW2’ at 3pm where, from the safety of their own home, everyone can stand up and raising a glass of refreshment of their choice and undertake the following Toast – ‘To those who gave so much, we thank you’.
Our Patron, Her Majesty The Queen, will lead a series of special broadcasts on BBC One throughout the evening of May 8 to commemorate the day. This includes an Address to the Nation from Windsor Castle, scheduled for 9pm – the exact time her father, King George VI, made his radio address to the nation in 1945 to announce victory in Europe from a heavily damaged Buckingham Palace.
There will also be a pre-recorded video message from Prince Charles, who will read an extract from his grandfather King George VI’s diary from VE Day describing the day’s events, including the Royal Family’s Buckingham Palace balcony appearances.
Extracts of Sir Winston Churchill’s famous victory speech to the nation announcing the end of the war in Europe will also be broadcast.
Following on from The Queen’s Address, a national rendering of Dame Vera Lynn’s wartime song, ‘We’ll Meet Again’, is also planned echoing what Her Majesty said in her recent broadcast about the coronavirus - that we face some of the most challenging times since the end of the Second World War and now more than ever must come together and unite.
You can join in by singing: Click here for words
Sunday 10th May 2020
BBC One: The Nation Remembers. VE Day 70: The Nation Remembers. Kirsty Young introduces full, uninterrupted live coverage of the final day of the 70th anniversary commemorations to mark VE Day from the surroundings of St James’s Park, London. Full details, given the restrictions imposed by the epidemic, remain to be announced.
The BBC has announced its programming to recognise VE-Day – but a some of it seems overtaken by events or not yet listed so keep referring back:
The Red Arrows and the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight are still expected to perform a flypast over Buckingham Palace at some point and the BBC should announce more details when known.
Together with the National Literacy Trust, the Royal British Legion has produced two Resource Packs for parents and carers, specially designed for home learning. They are aimed at 7-14 year olds and include family-friendly activities and support for when talking to children about VE Day and Remembrance. There are two – one for Key Stage 2 and one for Key Stage 3 and they can be downloaded here: https://storage.rblcdn.co.uk/sitefinity/docs/default-source/remembrancedocs/ve-day-home-resources.zip?sfvrsn=803251d9_2
The BBC has also assembled a variety of resources: https://www.bbc.co.uk/teach/ve-day-How-did-the-british-plan-to-celebrate/zndn7nb
The Imperial War Museum also has a number of online resources, not just limited to World War Two: https://www.iwm.org.uk/learning/resources
English Heritage have also produced an excellent VE-Day at Home Party Pack here:
as well as all sorts of other interesting information here: https://www.english-heritage.org.uk/ve-day