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VE Day 75

Abingdon Town Council had been making preparations to mark VE Day 75 and although things are no longer possible as they were originally planned, We will still be remembering the sacrifice of those who won our peace, at a time when we are all making sacrifices for the health of our world and marking this anniversary in our own homes instead of out together in the streets.

Please see below some information on the Virtual Commemorations that will take place for VE Day 75. Here you will find an abundance of messages, safe activities and a timeline of virtual ways to mark this occasion safely and to remember and honour the men and women of WW2. 

Friday 8th May:

11:00 AM - The Royal British Legion is calling on people across the UK to join in a moment of reflection and Remembrance at 11am on Friday 8th May, the 75th Anniversary of VE Day, and pause for a Two Minute Silence. I hope that we will all support this aspect of VE Day from the safety of our homes too.

The Mayor of Abingdon, Cllr Charlie Birks, was able to use his daily exercise to lay a wreath at the War Memorial at 11:00 AM. 

ve_day_image.png wreath_2_.png

See here for a message from the  Lord Lieutenant of Oxfordshire, given on his Facebook page and which took place at 2.50 PM  https://www.facebook.com/OxfordshireCountyCouncil/

2:55 PM - Solo buglers/trumpeters/cornet players are encouraged to play the Last Post at 2.55pm from the safety of their homes.

3:00 PM - While the Pipers are playing Battle’s O’er, and the recorded speech by Prime Minister Churchill is being broadcast by the BBC into our homes at 3pm on the 8th May, we would still like to encourage the people of our great country and abroad to stand at 3pm within the safety of their living rooms, front or back gardens, outside their front doors or balconies if they have one, and undertake the Nation’s Toast to the Heroes of WW II, using the following words. “TO THOSE WHO GAVE SO MUCH, WE THANK YOU,” using this unique opportunity to pay tribute to the many millions at home and abroad that gave so much to ensure we can all enjoy the freedom we share today.tribute to the many millions at home and abroad that gave so much to ensure we all enjoy and share the freedom we have today.

6:55 PM - Town Criers - Crying out for peace. Abingdon Town Criers have done a Virtual Cry which can be viewed below:

 

9:00 PM - To mark this historic occasion, Her Majesty The Queen will send a message to the nation on BBC at 9PM, the exact moment her father, King George VI, gave a radio address in 1945.

Everyone is also encouraged to put out flags, decorate and dress up for the day. Please post your pictures on social media and don’t forget to tag us so we can see all your wonderful celebrations.

We are also inviting residents to submit their personal family history pictures of VE Day electronically via enquiries@abingdon.gov.uk in order to try to build a picture of Abingdon in 1945. These will be posted in a gallery on the website.

Other local initiatives to get involved in:

  • From Monday 27th April, BBC Radio Oxford will be asking people to get creative and make their own special ‘Great British Bunting’ to hang in their windows.  Bunting can be decorated with pictures of soldiers who fought on the frontline or those who worked on the Homefront, it could be your grandad in the Navy or your great grandmother who worked for the RAF. Or you could draw a poppy to commemorate the fallen, a dove to celebrate lasting peace or a rainbow to symbolise hope. All the guidance and inspiration you need to make your bunting from whatever you have at home can be found at bbc.co.uk/makeadifference.
  • Royal British legion also have lots of Virtual VE day commemorations to get involved with. More details can be found here:

https://www.britishlegion.org.uk/get-involved/remembrance/remembrance-events/ve-day-75

This includes a downloadable VE Day learning pack for children aged 7-14 years.

And A UK-wide singalong to Vera Lynn’s ‘We’ll Meet Again at 9pm: https://www.britishlegion.org.uk/stories/ve-day-singalong

  • The Bank Holiday would normally see young people in the scout movement head on camp but with lockdown in full force, a virtual alternative has been dreamt up.

Beavers, Cub, Scouts, Explorers and anyone else who would like to, are being encouraged to build something to sleep in and camp out in their front room or garden.

The only condition is that beds cannot be used and the shelter should be decorated in a VE Day theme. Remember to send us pictures of your dens so we can add them to our website page.

  • If your feeling up to it there are also plenty of ways to use your daily exercise to help mark this occasion. Perhaps a virtual run sounds like your kind of thing? like this one with a VE Day medal and donations from each sale going to the Royal British legion: https://runnation.co.uk/r/VEDay5k-2020

Or why not take part in the 2.6 challenge? The Covid-19 pandemic has had a catastrophic effect with the cancellation of thousands of events and the loss of billions in income through fundraising events. The Royal British legion is one of those charities.

For ideas of how to get involved please head to: https://www.twopointsixchallenge.co.uk/

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