Celebration: Victory in Europe 70th Anniversary Is Today, V-E Day Marked End of WWII in Europe (video)
Posted By Vicki McClure Davidson on May 8, 2015
Seven decades ago today, World War II was officially declared over in Europe. Victory in Europe, (aka VE Day, V-E Day, or simply V Day), was a day of tremendous relief and celebration. The previous week, on April 30, ruthless Nazi leader Adolf Hitler had committed suicide during the Battle of Berlin.
Today’s anniversary of Germany’s surrender on May 8, 1945 is being marked with tributes and festivities across the globe.
God bless those men and women who served in the name of freedom, the thousands who made the ultimate sacrifice to vanquish evil and tyranny.
About V-E Day, from History Learning Site:
Victory in Europe Day (VE Day) was on May 8th 1945. VE Day officially announced the end of World War Two in Europe. On Monday May 7th at 02.41. German General Jodl signed the unconditional surrender document that formally ended war in Europe. Winston Churchill was informed of this event at 07.00. While no public announcements had been made, large crowds gathered outside of Buckingham Palace and shouted: “We want the King”. The Home Office issued a circular (before any official announcement) instructing the nation on how they could celebrate:
“Bonfires will be allowed, but the government trusts that only material with no salvage value will be used.”
The Board of Trade did the same:
“Until the end of May you may buy cotton bunting without coupons, as long as it is red, white or blue, and does not cost more than one shilling and three pence a square yard.”
However, even by the afternoon there was no official notification even though bell ringers had been put on standby for a nationwide victory peal. Ironically the Germans had been told by their government that the war was officially over. Joseph Stalin, who had differing views on how the surrender should be announced, caused the delay. By early evening, Churchill announced that he was not going to give Stalin the satisfaction of holding up what everybody knew. At 19.40 the Ministry of Information made a short announcement:
“In accordance with arrangements between the three great powers, tomorrow, Tuesday, will be treated as Victory in Europe Day and will be regarded as a holiday.”
Within minutes of this announcement, tens of thousands of people gathered on the streets of Central London to celebrate. People gathered in Parliament Square, Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly Circus and boats along the Thames sounded their horns in celebration.
The celebrations only ended when a thunderstorm and heavy rain drenched those still celebrating – just before midnight.
— Family Care Trust (@FamilyCareTrust) May 7, 2015
70 yrs ago today: the end to WWII formally recognized (V-E Day), but celebration had already started in Times Square: pic.twitter.com/8D3S5HqdMN
— The Bowery Boys NYC (@BoweryBoys) May 8, 2015
Britain’s Queen Elizabeth recalled VE Day in this 1985 BBC recording:
The Queen remembers VE Day
Washington Post: Vintage planes take flight for V-E Day
— David Burge (@iowahawkblog) May 8, 2015
— JTA | Jewish news (@JTAnews) May 8, 2015
World War II aircraft are flying above the National Mall as part of the commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the end to World War II. The day started with a ceremony at the WWII Memorial, where veterans and their families gathered Friday morning.
Ninety-year-old Richard Gibbons, a WWII Air Corps veteran, is among those at the event. He told WUSA9’s Nikki Burdine that in a couple of weeks he is going to jump out of a plane or his birthday.
Dozens of World War II veterans and representatives of the United States and the embassies of nearly 30 European Theater Allied Nations will present wreaths at the Freedom Wall of the Memorial, according to organizers.
Posted at The Guardian, there is a fascinating interview with six people who shared their recollections of the six-year conflict and the hours after WWII hostilities ended in Europe.
More from the Twitterverse:
— Tony Parsons (@TonyParsonsUK) May 8, 2015
— U.S. Dept of Defense (@DeptofDefense) May 8, 2015
— The Independent (@Independent) May 8, 2015
— Oliver Willis (@owillis) May 8, 2015
— Canada (@Canada) May 8, 2015
— Anne Frank Trust (@AnneFrankTrust) May 8, 2015
— Adam Housley (@adamhousley) May 8, 2015
— General Electric (@generalelectric) May 8, 2015
We salute our WWII heroes today on the anniv of V-E Day – we owe you so much. Let us not forget the lessons of complacency prior to WWII.
— martha maccallum (@marthamaccallum) May 8, 2015
— Newsweek (@Newsweek) May 8, 2015