The Mayor of Basingstoke and Deane will lead the VE Day 75 Anniversary commemorations on Friday 8th May to thank those who gave so much during World War Two.
Due to the COVID-19 restrictions and the government’s advice on social distancing, Cllr Diane Taylor will be marking VE Day 75 through a number of videos on the Mayoral and borough council social media channels, including Facebook and Twitter.
Cllr Taylor is also encouraging residents to mark the day safely at home and is inviting people to raise glass or a cup of tea at 3pm to join the nation in celebrating, as people did 75 years ago.
She will then take part in an international Cry for Peace at 6.55pm, to be streamed on social media at the same time as other dignitaries around the world, before the 7pm Ringing Out for Peace, a worldwide celebration of the peace and friendships we share today. A previous recording of the bells at St Michael’s Church, Basingstoke, will be posted online to participate.
At 9pm, borough residents are invited to a UK-wide singalong of ‘We’ll Meet Again’ with Dame Vera Lynn to be broadcast on BBC One as part of the commemorations.
Despite the current coronavirus outbreak, this year’s VE Day 75 anniversary will still take place from 8 to 10 May but with personal commemorations in people’s homes, rather than the previously arranged public events.
Basingstoke and Deane residents are encouraged to plan and enjoy their own celebrations with those they live with – and to share on social media. This could include everything from a VE Day 75 tea party with specially decorated cakes, bunting and flags and children’s face painting to virtual choir singing to bring people together in celebration.
Cllr Diane Taylor said: “I invite everybody in the borough to join me on Friday 8 May to celebrate the VE Day 75 anniversary in their own homes and gardens and to raise a glass or teacup with me at 3pm in recognition of a victory that brought us the great life that we are privileged to lead today.
“Even though we cannot mark this significant day as we had planned, it is so important to remember the sacrifice, courage and determination shown during the war by those who served in the armed forces, those who worked tirelessly in shops, factories, shipyards and farms, and by thanking those who kept the country safe – such as ARP wardens, police officers, doctors, nurses, firemen, local defence volunteers and others – on the Home Front.
“We salute them and thank them for bringing us peacetime. So let us all celebrate the outcome of a war that logically we should have lost – but, with our great allies, we won!
“What’s more, we will win the coronavirus battle too. Please stay safe by staying at home and finding your own special way of marking this anniversary while helping to reduce the spread of this virus.”