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Opinion : How are you commemorating the 75th anniversary of VE Day?

| May 8, 2020

Is it really 75 years since the allies claimed Victory in Europe?

Like many of the older generation, my parents and grandparents played their part in the war effort and saw active service in WWII passing down their accounts of what life was like back then. From what my good self can understand they were difficult times.

Nowadays those who actually fought or did their bit for the war effort are getting few and far between. Indeed it’s such a shame the world is ‘locked down’ and we are ‘distancing’ ourselves from one another on such an in important anniversary in our county’s history.

But how many people will actually commemorate or do anything out of the ordinary on VE Day this year? I fear that for most people it will just be another day and they will not even think of the suffering, sacrifice and determination that saw victory in the Second World War.

This year the ‘Early May’ bank holiday has been moved from the Monday to the Friday to coincide with VE day. However it’s still officially referred to as the ‘Early May’ bank holiday.

Perhaps it should have renamed as the ‘VE Day Bank Holiday’ so everyone knows exactly what the day being celebrated is? Alas, my good self fears it wasn’t renamed as possibly political correctness crept in to the process somewhere along the line….

It amazes me that in the UK the only official ‘days off’ are only the set schedule of bank holidays and we don’t have official holidays on any of the days of the years that saw significant events in our country’s history.

Of course we must not forget that although Victory in Europe was claimed on 8th May 1945, the campaign in South East Asia carried on for a few months more until VJ Day on 15th August.

Could the powers that be have not moved the ‘Summer’ bank holiday, due to take place on Monday 31st August 2020, a few weeks forward to celebrate VJ Day?

The brave soldiers who risked their lives fighting on the other side of the world in countries like Burma were, at the time, referred to as the ‘forgotten army’. It seems they are still being forgotten to this very day, or at least not given the same level of recognition as their counterparts in the European campaign.

So what will you be doing to remember VE Day or even VJ Day later in the year?

What do you think?

My blogs are published regularly here on the WycombeToday.com website.

You can also follow me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ivor.wycombe or on Twitter at https://twitter.com/Ivor_Wycombe.

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