NEIL HAMILTON AM for Mid & West Wales, and Leader of UKIP Wales is encouraging his constituents to show their support for VE Day 75th celebrations on Friday May 8.
Mr Hamilton, a member of the Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs committee, is backing the Royal British Legion who are calling on us all to come together during key moments to pay tribute to the service and sacrifice of the entire Second World War generation.
“These are unprecedented and sad times. Coronavirus means people will no longer be able to gather together to remember at the many VE Day 75 events which had been planned for Friday.
“The Royal British Legion, as always, has risen to this challenge and announced a programme of activity so people can mark this auspicious occasion from home.
“I hope everyone will support their call to commemorate the service and sacrifice of the Second World War generation by joining in with planned activities. In particular, by marking the national moment of Remembrance and pausing for a two minutes silence at 11am
“This communal act of remembrance will be particularly poignant at this time when we also reflect on the extraordinary impact of Covid-19 on lives across the world.”
To mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day on Friday May 8 the Royal British Legion is calling on the nation to get involved from home throughout the day and pay tribute to the entire Second World War generation from British, Commonwealth and Allied Forces, to evacuees and those who served on the home front.
With members of the public unable to attend VE Day events, the Legion is playing a central role in the delivery of a range of activity including a VE Day broadcast, national moments of remembrance and thanksgiving, and an education pack for people to join in with from home.
Following the Silence the Legion is hosting a VE Day 75 livestream, sharing stories and memories from those who served and sacrificed during the Second World War, and recognising the difficulties people are experiencing today. The programme will be live from 11.15 on the Legion’s website.
Later in the day it has partnered with the BBC to honour and celebrate the Second World War generation with an evening of memories and music from 8pm on BBC One. This includes inviting the public to take part in a UK-wide rendition of Vera Lynn’s ‘We’ll Meet Again’ at 9pm.
Alongside these events on May 8, The Royal British Legion has developed a VE Day learning pack which is available online. Designed for 7-14 year olds the pack includes first-hand accounts from the Second World War generation, veteran interviews and range of activities to allow families to explore and commemorate VE Day together.
The Royal British Legion’s Assistant Director of Commemorative Events, Bob Gamble OBE, said: “As we face some of the most challenging times since the Second World War, now more than ever it is important to unite in recognition of people’s service to the nation, just as communities did 75 years ago.
“There is no right or wrong way to take part in the Silence at 11am, some people may wish to stand at their windows or step outside their front door, but we hope that individuals and families across the UK will embrace the opportunity to share in a national moment of reflection. Then later on we invite people to open their windows wide and join us to celebrate and give thanks as we singalong to Dame Vera Lynn’s wartime classic, ‘We’ll Meet Again’, which has added poignancy in the current circumstances.
“There are many parallels between the struggles of the Second World War and what we are going through today. As we mark 75 years since Victory in Europe, we look to our Second World War generation to learn from their experiences, and the Legion continues our critical work to protect them from the threat we currently face.”
Members of the public can access the activities at www.rbl.org.uk/veday75 and on social media using #VEDay75 and #VEDay75Live during the livestream.