The Government is calling on families to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of VE Day, with North Swindon MP Justin Tomlinson encouraging residents to join in.
Sadly, social distancing means some of the major events that were originally planned will not be able to go ahead – however, a revised programme will ensure a fitting tribute to the greatest generation.
The revised programme will include: a two-minutes' silence at 11.00am; the broadcasting of extracts of Sir Winston Churchill's VE Day speech, followed by The Prince of Wales reading an extract from his grandfather King George VI's diary from the day; and, finally, Her Majesty The Queen will address the nation.
Members of The Royal Family, the Prime Minister and I will also take part in video calls with Second World War veterans and those who served on the Home Front. Our NHS Volunteer Responders will also be deployed to call a number of Second World War veterans to thank them and hear their stories.
The Government has launched a special website full of resources to help families mark the occasion together at home - https://ve-vjday75.gov.uk/get-involved
The website has a variety of activities and tips including:
· Creative activities such as bunting and posters to decorate homes and display in front windows.
· Tips for holding a 1940s style afternoon tea party at home with your household, complete with VE Day bunting, original recipes, games, and educational and creative activities for children using the template pack available online via the website.
· A Thank You’ card to post a message of thanks to the Second World War generation on social media channels.
· Tips for researching family history using Ancestry.co.uk - who will be making their resources available for free between 4-10 May.
· A VE Day challenge for young people from historian Dan Snow, members of the public can use the link on our dedicated website: https://ve-vjday75.gov.uk/get-involved/ to access the challenge.
· Dan Snow will also host a daily history lesson on different aspects of the Second World War live on YouTube for children from Monday 4 May at 11am each morning on his History Hit YouTube channel.
Justin Tomlinson said: “The 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War in Europe is an very special milestone, and it is a shame that celebrations will have to be revised. I would encourage as many people as possible to take the time the time to celebrate this significant milestone, and show their thanks to all those who served during the conflict.”