During this time of crisis, it is easy to think that we have never faced such a dark period in our nation’s history. However, the 75th anniversary of the Allies’ Victory in Europe should remind us that we have overcome what looked like insurmountable odds before, and we will again.
Many of our residents will remember loved ones coming home from the conflict to a joyous welcome, whilst too many others will remember only the heartbreak of no such happy reunion. Still more had to wait for news until August, when the war with Japan formally ended and our troops in the Far East could come home. We should all give thanks for the sacrifices made to preserve our freedom and not forget the lessons history teaches us.
Our council had planned events on May 8th to celebrate and remember the 75th anniversary. For reasons too obvious to mention these cannot go ahead as mass gatherings. However, we do want to encourage families to remember and honour VE Day in their own homes.
The FTC website has suggestions on how you may want to do this. Children and parents can use the website www.ve-vjday75.gov.uk/toolkit/ to help with their history home-schooling and many more ideas are available on the Royal British Legion website https://www.britishlegion.org.uk/get-involved/remembrance. Singalongs from your homes are encouraged, so why not put up the bunting and join in?
The most moving part of my year as mayor is the laying of the wreath on Remembrance Sunday. I do not see it as glorifying conflict but giving thanks for those who faced apparently insurmountable odds. I am sure we should do the same after our current crisis has passed. Please stay safe.