Victory in Europe Day (also known as VE Day) commemorates a joyous time, which will always be celebrated by those who remember the momentous occasion and also future generations.
At 3pm on Tuesday 8 May 1945, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill addressed the nation on radio with the wonderful news that the war with Germany was over. The announcement came after Hitler’s suicide on 30 April and the surrender of Grand Admiral Donitz, who had been President of Germany for just one week.
Huge crowds, many dressed in red, white and blue, flocked to Whitehall and Trafalgar Square to celebrate the end of World War 2 after six years of hardship and misery. Street parties were held, children dressed up in fancy dress, and people sang and danced.
Half a million homes had been destroyed, thousands of lives lost and many were in mourning, but the courageous spirit that had held the countrty together had endured.
VE Day celebrations in 1945
Above is a scene from Trafalgar Square in London – thousands of people went to celebrate the end of the war.
Below, you will see the crowds gathering at Whitehall on VE Day in 1945 to celebrate the Allies’ victory.
To mark the 70th anniversary, in 2015 there will be three days of national commemoration – this will include a ceremony at the Cenotaph in London, a parade and a national service at Westminster Abbey. A national two-minute silence will also be help at 3pm on 8 May marking the moment that the Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, broadcast his speech announcing the end of the war.
VE Day 70th Anniversary Air Show
This year, the Imperial War Museum, in Duxford, is hosting a special air show to mark the 70th VE Day anniversary. The show, hosted on 23 and 24 May 2015, will pay tribute to all the people who endured the Second World War and will include a flying display to demonstrate how we won the war in the air.
Over the weekend there will be recreations of street parties from the 1940s, flights from a Dakota, Catalina, P-51, Mustangs, Corsair and many more, plus a chance to explore the whole museum.
To find out more and book a ticket, visit the IWM website.