The Royal British Legion – Ramsey Branch
VE Day 2020 under Self Distancing Rules May 8th
Victory in Europe Day, generally known as VE Day (United Kingdom) or V-E Day (North America), is a day celebrating the formal acceptance by the Allies of World War II of Nazi Germany's unconditional surrender of its armed forces on 8 May 1945.
Upon the defeat of Germany, celebrations erupted throughout the western world, especially in Great Britain and North America. More than one million people celebrated in the streets throughout Great Britain to mark the end of the European part of the war. Queen Elizabeth, accompanied by Prime Minister Winston Churchill, appeared on the balcony of the palace before the cheering crowds. Princess Elizabeth (the future Queen Elizabeth II) and her sister Princess Margaret were allowed to wander incognito among the crowds and take part in the celebrations.
The instrument of surrender signed 7 May 1945 stipulated that all hostilities must cease at 23:01 (CET), 8 May 1945, just an hour before midnight.
The momentous day is still celebrated and remembered by people around Britain each year.
Remembrance in 2020
This year we're remembering the impacts that leaving, absence and coming home have on Service men and women, and their loved ones - then and now.
The end of WWII
At the end of the Second World War 3.8 million British men and 400,000 women were demobilised, returning to their homes and families, some for the first time in many years.
To this was added tens of thousands of evacuees, the majority of them children, who returned home to town and cities that needed rebuilding.
Millions of personnel from Commonwealth forces also faced long journeys back to their homes across the world, whilst over 60 million refugees across the world were left displaced needing to rebuild their lives.
These reunions were often joyous, frequently strained and sometimes painful. Resettlement to civilian life was a major concern of post-war governments and a driver of social change in Britain and across the world.
The Armed Forces community today
The challenges of leaving, missing and returning home are still faced by Service families today.
And just like in 1945, today the Royal British Legion remains a place to find help, companionship, and shared memories.