İrem UZUN -TDO- Friday marked 75 years since the end of World War II in Europe. A date that would traditionally have been commemorated with pomp and pageantry, May 8 this year is celebrated very differently. The coronavirus pandemic has meant that millions around the world are staying at home, so people have to find new ways of marking Victory in Europe (VE) Day.
Following the six years of war in Europe, the devastating event was ended on this day, May 8, 1945. On May 7, in Reims, the German high command signed an unconditional surrender of all German forces. The next day, May 8, the final formal surrender was made in Berlin itself. Despite swathes of events and swarming parades being cancelled because of the coronavirus lockdown, the UK found ways to come together to pay tribute to those who served in the era-defining global conflict.
Many local and national events were planned to mark the end of hostilities in Europe at the end of the Second World War but they have been cancelled as the country deals with Covid-19 pandemic. There are many alternative celebrations now planned and there is a wide range of commemorative programmes being shown across the television networks. These include Sir Winston Churchill’s 1945 speech to the nation at 3pm, and at 9pm HM the Queen delivers a message to the nation at the same time her father, King George VI, gave his radio address in 1945.
The Queen said her message of VE Day is "never give up, never despair", remembering the sacrifices of the Second World War generation in a poignant speech. She said their lasting legacy "is that countries who were once sworn enemies are now friends, working side by side for the peace, health and prosperity of us all".