How to Commemorate VE Day in Lockdown

Posted on Thursday 30 April 2020

On 8 May 2020, it is the 75th Anniversary of VE Day, also known as Victory in Europe Day when the Allies accepted the surrender of Nazi Germany. As we remember the heroes of World War II, we encourage everyone to commemorate the day safely and according to current circumstances.

Government advice on social distancing and staying at home must continue to be followed even on this very special day – please resist the temptation to visit friends and family and avoid gatherings. There will be no street closures or public events in the ongoing effort to stop the spread of COVID 19.

To help you enjoy this day at home, we have created some special VE Day 75 pages on our website, launching today (30 April). 

Councillor Vikki Slade, Leader of BCP Council adds, “While we want all our residents to mark the incredibly important 75th Anniversary of VE Day, we would really appreciate everyone’s continued co-operation and urge you to stay at home and celebrate. Sadly, street parties and other public gatherings are not allowed this year but there are special TV and radio shows to mark the occasion, films and podcasts to enjoy and you can get creative tips on 1940s recipes, making bunting, virtual get-togethers or uploading a family member’s photographs to social media from a variety of resources.”

It is very much hoped that there can be a more public celebration of VJ Day – Victory over Japan Day - later in the summer which marks the end of the 2nd Battalion of Dorset’s involvement in the conflict. In the meantime there are plenty of ways of celebrating on Friday 8 May.

On National television there are many options on the day including The Nation’s Toast at 3pm as part of a BBC 1 special tribute or join in the Royal British Legion’s nationwide sing-along to Dame Vera Lynn’s We’ll Meet Again at 9pm, also on the BBC. A wealth of ideas for things to do and make can be sourced at the websites of The Imperial War Museum, English Heritage and The Royal British Legion.

In the run up to VE Day there are a number of activities for youngsters including Dan Snow‘s (@thehistoryguy) VE Day Challenge. Young people are being asked to tell the story of VE Day through submitting a written or video story, a song, a poem or design a newspaper front page or to write an article or perform a play. You can get your information from a number of resources such as the BBC, CBBC, Imperial War Museum, National Army Museum or The National Archives and links to all of these can be found on our VE Day 75 pages.

Other things to do for children in Lockdown include decorating the house in red white and blue, making bunting and VE Day Posters or planning an indoor or garden picnic including recipe ideas from 1945.

Cllr David Kelsey, Armed Forces Champion, sums up, “I would like to offer my thanks to everyone who served during the war to give us the freedoms we have today. Last year BCP Council signed the armed forces covenant which is a pledge to treat those who serve or have served with respect. Dorset has a large military presence, with 3,150 serving personnel across 4 bases. It is important for us that despite the current situation we can all still commemorate VE Day75 from home this Friday 8 May and in doing so thank those who gave so much. Please do get involved. We will always remember you“