Victory in Europe (VE Day), held to celebrate the end of the war in Europe in 1945, will be remembered with a difference this year.
Planned celebrations will continue in ‘stay safe’ style with the people of Sheffield being invited to pay their respects and say thank you to the millions who lost their lives in the Second World War.
The Lord Mayor of Sheffield, Councillor Tony Downing, will mark the occasion on Friday in his ‘Tribute to the millions’ speech and Leader of the Council, Councillor Julie Dore, will pay tribute with the words of ‘Cry for Peace’.
Councillor Julie Dore, Leader of Sheffield City Council, said: “We will always remember those who lost their lives in the Second World War and how people worked tirelessly to do whatever they could in the war effort. It’s important for us to thank and be thankful for all those who give everything in difficult times. We will do our best on Friday, even though we can’t be close to each other in person, to celebrate and remember the lives of those we’ve lost in the best way that we can.”
Video memories of those who remember the war will be played: local veterans will share their stories of their part in the war and what it was like and local councillors, who were young children at the beginning of the war, will share some of their memories too.
Music will play a big part in marking the day. No VE celebration is complete without ‘We’ll Meet Again’ and this will be performed by Rebecca Lambert from Sheffield City Opera. Members of the City of Sheffield pipe band, Jim Oakes and Chris McCarthy will play ‘Battle’s O’er’ wearing the Sheffield Tartan.
All of these recordings will be played from Friday and over the weekend on social media and will be available at www.sheffieldnewsroom.co.uk.
It is hoped that many residents from every corner of the city will raise a glass from their living room or garden on Friday in a synchronised 3pm toast to commemorate this important anniversary.
For more ideas on how to mark VE Day and capture children’s imagination there are online resources here, Get involved, which include tips for hosting a tea party at home, colouring, bunting and creative challenge for children.
Already people in Sheffield have prepared their bunting and other activities for planned parties to mark VE Day.
Rachel, a resident on Renshaw Road, said: “We’re really looking forward to celebrating VE Day on Friday with others on our road. The kids have been busy making London buses, paper aeroplanes and painting decorations. We’ve ambitious plans for food, bunting, singing and dancing (socially distanced of course!) I think it’s such a great time to come together as a community and remember, reflect and rejoice. More than ever we have seen the value of friendships with neighbours over the past few weeks and lockdown has only served to strengthen our understanding of how we’re created for community. It’s been such a joy amidst the sadness.”
The Union Flag will be flown from Sheffield Cenotaph in Barkers Pool from Friday 8 May until Sunday 10 May.
Join in with Sheffield’s VE Day celebrations across the weekend:
- 7:40am – Tune in to the Lord Mayor of Sheffield on BBC Radio Sheffield
- 11am – 2 minute silence on the doorstep (national event)
- 12pm – Thanks to the millions – Lord Mayor’s speech shared on all council channels
- 3pm – Toast and Churchill’s speech broadcast on BBC (national event)
- 8pm – Local singer Rebecca Lambert performs We’ll Meet Again
- 9pm – Sing along to We’ll Meet Again performed by British Legion on BBC (national event)
- 11am – Cry for Peace – speech from Leader of Sheffield City Council, Julie Dore
- More videos shared throughout the day
- More videos and celebratory images shared throughout the day