KCC is encouraging residents to join in the VE Day celebrations on Friday – the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War in Europe.
To mark the event, staff from the archives at the Kent History and Library Centre in Maidstone have produced a video with several of them reading excerpts from various documents featuring people’s memories of the events of the day.
“Kent Voices from VE Day” runs for nearly 30 minutes and includes readings of items from personal diaries, parish magazines and local government literature, together with details of the planning that went into the official celebrations. The video can be viewed at kentarchives.org.uk
KCC Chairman Ann Allen said: “I am encouraging the people of Kent to join in the celebrations on Friday.
“The current pandemic prevents us marking the event with many of our friends, family and loved ones and we must stay home to save lives and protect the NHS. But in the midst of all that is happening we must remember the sacrifice of all those who fought and worked, both abroad and at home, to bring peace to Europe, and we must remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice and did not come home.
“I hope residents will join in with the virtual celebrations and raise a glass, cup or mug at 3pm on Friday in celebration and remembrance and say: “To those who gave so much, we thank you”.
As members of the public are no longer able to attend national and regional VE Day 75 commemorations or events due to the Covid-19 pandemic, The Royal British Legion has helped arrange some remote activity so people can participate from home. This includes a VE Day 75 livestream, national moments of remembrance and thanksgiving and a learning pack for young people.
The Legion is therefore calling on people across the UK to join in a national moment of reflection and Remembrance at 11am on Friday and pause for a two-minute silence, not only in recognition of the service and sacrifice of the Second World War generation, but also to reflect on the devastating impact Covid-19 has had on so many lives across the world.
Following the silence, the Legion is hosting a VE Day livestream, available at rbl.org.uk/veday75, sharing stories and memories from those who served and sacrificed during the Second World War, and recognising the difficulties people are experiencing today.
From 8pm the BBC, in partnership with the Royal British Legion, will broadcast an evening of memories and music, featuring some of those who remember this historic day, plus some of Britain’s favourite performers with popular songs of the era. In a finale at 9.00 pm the public are encouraged to enjoy a moment of celebration and thanksgiving by taking part in a UK-wide rendition of Dame Vera Lynn’s ‘We’ll Meet Again’ at 9pm. Lyrics are available on The Royal British Legion website https://www.rbl.org.uk/stories/ve-day-singalong