This Friday 8th May will be the 75 year anniversary of VE day. There were big plans to celebrate across the UK, including a parade, a public concert and a reception….and they even moved the Bank Holiday from the Monday to the Friday.
Even though the planned public celebrations can’t go ahead due to the current lockdown, there are still plenty of safe ways to mark this important date in our history with our families and our local communities.
What is VE Day?
VE stands for Victory in Europe, on 8th May 1945 the German’s offer of unconditional surrender was formally accepted, meaning the end of 6 years of war in Europe Huge crowds gathered across the UK to celebrate together, the centre of those celebrations was in London where the Royal Family and Winston Churchill waved to the excited crowds from the Royal Balcony at Buckingham Palace.
Veterans’ Minister Graeme Dey said: “As the 75th anniversary of VE Day approaches, it is only right we pay tribute to the determination and the sacrifices made by the men and women who lived through the Second World War. I hope the whole nation can join with me online in honouring a generation whose contribution continues to impact on us all in many ways.”
Teaching our children about VE day.
The situation we find ourselves in now presents a fabulous opportunity to talk to our children about our history and what children and families of past years experienced during the war…..Having to stay inside, rationing and not being able to see loved ones were all part of daily life back then….and whilst our current hardships are much less, there’s no doubt that there are some comparisons to be made…especially when you see things from a child’s point of view.
Why not make a ration book and play shops? Or bake some recipes from Twinkl’s Wartime Recipe Book. Twinkl have lots of great resources for home learning, including a whole VE Day resource pack for ages 7-11.
The Royal British Legion have lots of dedicated resources for all school age children.
BBC Newsround also have a great page all about VE day.
The end of difficult times.
The war meant separation for families, Dads and Brothers sent off to fight and children evacuated. My Mum was one of those child evacuees, evacuated at just 5 years old, something unimaginable. VE Day meant that those families could be back together and start rebuilding their lives…..what a cause for celebration!
Perhaps now more than ever we have a glimmer of understanding of the effects of the separation and hopefully soon we will also have the joy of coming back together. We are all struggling at the moment being apart from our families, our children are finding it especially difficult to understand why they can’t see Granny or their friends. We’re all looking forward to being able to get back together properly again and hugging our loved ones tight.
How we can celebrate?
The national events will all be televised and there are lots of ideas around to make it a fun day for all ages and a great learning opportunity for our children. I would say that this is one of those times that you can go completely over the top and no-one will care – in fact you will probably be applauded!
Some communities are planning street parties…
..from the safe distance of their own front gardens of course….so that our communities can be together, whilst staying safely apart! There’s a wee running order for the day on the poster over here >>>>>
Decorate your house for VE Day 2020.
Online stores are all out of stock of Union Flag bunting. but no fear.
If you have access to a printer and fancy a little bit of colouring fun with the kiddies (or just yourself, it’s very therapeutic) there are some fabulous free printable bunting kits around, my 2 favourites are from Baker Ross and Colouring Heroes.
I’ve pinned more free printables on my VE DAY PINTEREST BOARD
If you don’t have a printer then no need to worry, there’s always good old paper chains or you can make something a little more unique with nothing more than a length of string and a couple of packs of red, white and blue napkins…get creative!
Tea on the lawn anyone?
Dust off that picnic rug and enjoy afternoon tea, or even a wee tipple in the front garden. You don’t need to go overboard, even a few simple sandwiches and some good old butterfly buns… don’t forget the wee cupcake union flags to finish them off!!
Pimms is the quintessentially British tipple, if you want something a little more exciting that the traditional Pimms and lemonade, there’s lots of yummy Pimms cocktail recipes on the Good Housekeeping Website
Join the VE Day singalong at 9pm.
Get those speakers out of the windows and singalong with Dame Vera Lynn and your neighbours.
Don’t know the words? Download the lyrics here.
How are you planning to commemorate VE Day 75? Have you found any great resources? Let me know in the comments.