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Brad

75th Anniversary of VE Day - May 8, 1945

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Posted (edited)

Today is a blessed day for on May 8, 1945 WW II ended in Europe. For some of you that’s just a date in history but probably for some born in the aftermath of WWII it may have some significance. I was born in 1950 and my father had been stationed in London as a civilian worker with SHAEF (Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force) and my mother worked for OPA (Office of Price Administration) so WWII always seemed more than a date, not to mention some distant members of our family in Poland never emerged from the concentration camps.

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Here’s a look at how the World celebrated VE Day.

How VE Day Echoed Around the World

Perhaps one day soon we will celebrate the end of the Coronavirus. 

Edited by Brad

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We had a two minute silence at 11.00 today.  Obviously all VE day celebrations have been seriously curtailed.

My 94yo neighbour tells of how as an 18yo she downed tools at the factory she worked in and walked the 8 miles into Trafalgar Square to join the celebrations.  It must have been such a day of relief.

However it also makes me think of my great uncle who remained a Japanese POW after May 8th and for some time still to come.  For his and other families in the same position it must have been a bittersweet day

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That's a great and important celebration marking the end of WWII. A very important day. Well I'm mistaken for it wasn't the end of WWII, but at least of the European hostilities.

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I was aged 5 at the time and remember a massive bonfire at the end of the street with an effigy of Hitler.

We had another one a few months later when Hirohito was burned.

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1 hour ago, BillF said:

I was aged 5 at the time and remember a massive bonfire at the end of the street with an effigy of Hitler.

We had another one a few months later when Hirohito was burned.

That makes me smile, especially that he effort was put in twice. 

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5 hours ago, mjazzg said:

We had a two minute silence at 11.00 today.  Obviously all VE day celebrations have been seriously curtailed.

My 94yo neighbour tells of how as an 18yo she downed tools at the factory she worked in and walked the 8 miles into Trafalgar Square to join the celebrations.  It must have been such a day of relief.

However it also makes me think of my great uncle who remained a Japanese POW after May 8th and for some time still to come.  For his and other families in the same position it must have been a bittersweet day

It’s good to see that it’s still remembered in Europe.  It may resonate more in Europe at the present time than the US because Europe was impacted more than the US. 

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Posted (edited)

If it hadn't been for Covid we'd have been treated to the full British patriotic celebration with lots of attempts to recreate the "spirit" of the day in the way only we seem to attempt to do - much flag waving and tea parties. I bet somewhere a politician has somehow managed to shoehorn our current "war against Covid" into comparisons with '39-45.

There was a very touching clip on the news of a street in Wales where everyone came out of the houses, remained socially distanced and clapped an RAF veteran as he strode the length of his street. Another Navy veteran spoke of how it was a sad day for him, remembering "all my mates".  That to me was the essence of what a celebration should have been - marking and celebrating the efforts and sacrifices of that generation.

It would be interesting to know how it's been remembered elsewhere in Europe today. I wonder whether for the liberated nations the celebration/commemoration comes on liberation day. And, one wonders what it means in Germany today.

Edited by mjazzg

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On May 11, 1945, the woman who would later be my mother celebrated her 20th birthday.  I'm sure that occasion must have been extra memorable for her, falling right on the heels of VE day.  The man who would later be my father (indisputably the least of his accomplishments) was at that time stationed in Europe, I believe in a supply unit in the UK.  I'm sure TWWWLBMM was extra-happy knowing that the war was over in the theater in which TMWWLBMF was stationed. 

On May 11, 2020, she will celebrate her 95th birthday.  I will have to ask her if she remembers anything of that day. 

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Many Happy Returns for the 11th to TWWWLBYM

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An amazing day to remember, and is some ways, a very melancholy day. I'm at the age now (61) where people in their twenties and younger ask about "how it was when I was growing up", (which makes me feel so old), and one of the most striking changes is this: When I grew up, Word War II was a major part of the ambiance of the culture. I knew many people who fought in the war, there were still Army surplus stores with items from WWII, and politics was run by people who were veterans of WWII, in fact, wasn't President Carter the first US President who was not a WWII veteran? Now WWII seems like the distant past, and all those veterans are long gone. 

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