Virtual events to mark the 75th Anniversary of VE Day, also known as Victory in Europe Day when the Allies accepted the surrender of Nazi Germany, are being encouraged.
Councils across our region say there will be 'no street closures or public events in the ongoing effort to stop the spread of Covid-19' but add 'as we remember the heroes of World War two we encourage everyone to commemorate the day safely and according to current circumstances'.
People are being encouraged to still hang out bunting.
A VE Day service will be broadcast from Bristol Cathedral at midday, on its social media channels, led by the Revd Canon Michael Johnson,
- A programme of national activities can be found here
- The Government has also published a toolkit of resources, including posters to print and display at home, which can be found here
- English Heritage has a pack to help you mark the anniversary at home, which can be found here
- Town Criers and others from across the globe would usually be undertaking a special international 'Cry for Peace Around the World' in many locations, For more about the A Cry for Peace Around the World and how to do it at home click here
- Why not join in at 9pm for a UK-wide rendition of Dame Vera Lynn's 'We'll Meet Again' to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day. The words can be found here
Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees said: “The coronavirus pandemic will not prevent us remembering those who lost their lives 75 years ago, and celebrating that historic moment of peace.
“VE Day falls at a really appropriate time this year, as over the past weeks people in Bristol have come together to support each other as the crisis has taken hold.
"It’s been heart-warming and inspiring, and we are showing true stoicism like so many people in Britain had to during and after the war.”
Damon Hooton, Mendip Council's Armed Forces Champion, said: "At this time of international crisis when we celebrate and show respect and gratitude to new heroes, let us not forget the former servicemen and servicewomen and civilians who served our country during the Second World War to secure the freedom we have today.
"We owe them a huge debt of gratitude, so please join us on VE Day in any way you can to show your thanks and support for these remarkable people."
Leader of Mendip Ros Wyke added: "Many millions fought for our freedom and others supported the home front. Mendip will to mark the milestone and honour them, albeit in a different way.
"Despite the lockdown, we will celebrate this poignant anniversary. We will never forget the sacrifices that were made. Now more than ever, we must come together and unite."
Richard Keeling, Teignbridge Council’s Armed Forces Covenant Champion, said: “It’s sad that we won’t be able to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of VE Day in the way that we would like to. But even though we can’t be out and about we’d like to encourage everyone to still make the most of this special day and have fun.
"By taking part in this national initiative to mark #VEDay75 we can show that we’re united not only in celebrating our history, but also that we stand together during these strange and unsettling pandemic times."
Sam Crowe, Director of Public Health for Dorset Council said: “We know with celebrations like a Bank Holiday, it’s even harder not to be able to see friends and family. We want to thank everyone for all they are doing to help us stop the spread of COVID-19.
“The threat of the virus is still very real in Dorset, but by staying at home and following social distancing guidelines we can limit the impact it will have.”
Dorset Police Chief Constable James Vaughan said: “We know many people across Dorset will wish to mark this very special day and although we may not be able to hold street parties, we will have to come up with innovative ways of remembering the heroes of World War Two. Please continue to observe Government advice on social distancing and stay at home.”
Councillor Mike Morey, Cabinet Member for Environment, Infrastructure and Culture for Torbay Council, said “Despite being at home, we can all still show our support and celebrate this historic occasion. We are encouraging as many local residents as possible, to make the most of this special day, whether it be making and displaying VE Day decorations or trying out a new recipe. If you are planning on hosting your own VE Day Celebration, please remember to follow the social distancing guidelines and only celebrate with the family or friends that you live at home with you."