The 2020 theme

"Celebrating VE Day 75 Years"

blossom festival 2020

VE Day 75 Years since the ending of WW II

When VE Day dawns on 8th May 2020 it will be 75 years since the guns fell silent at the end of the war in Europe. Years of carnage and destruction had come to an end and millions of people took to the streets and pubs to celebrate peace, mourn their loved – ones and to hope for the future, but not forgetting those still in conflict until 15th August when it was announced that Japan had surrendered unconditionally to the Allies, effectively ending World War II.

ve day theme 2020
A Cry For Peace Around The World

A Cry for Peace Around the World
Oyez Oyez Oyez
God Save The Queen
Citizens, one and all,
Please join this cry for peace, that you now hear from me.
Remember men & women, old & young, who died to make us free.
The women left at home did not just sit and wait.
They toiled in harsh conditions before dawn to very late.
Factories, farms, other essential jobs, the women were quick at learning.
They worked, some died, to keep the home fires burning.
As we remember this special day, do not forget that every day someone needs your aid,
Do not put away your poppies, letting your memories fade.
Celebrate with the knowledge that VE Day is also a time to remember,
Beyond the solemn wreaths of the 11th of November.
Let’s thank all those who have gone before, with their colours proudly unfurled.
Join us as united we say, “Peace to the world
God Save The Queen. (veday75.org)

 

ve day 75 years

VE Day Celebration (thecanadianencyclopedia.ca)

Ready for Peace

Canadians had been at war since September 1939. Over the course of the Second World War, the country's economy had been transformed, a generation of young men had been mobilized to defeat the Axis powers, and since 1942 a debate over conscription had divided both Canadians and the government of Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King.

By the spring of 1945, Canadians had waged war against a relentless enemy on the North Atlantic, at Dieppe, Hong Kong and Normandy, in the air over Germany, and most recently, in the Netherlands and the Rhineland. More than a million Canadians had served in the armed forces — 42,000 had been killed and tens of thousands more were wounded or awaiting liberation in prisoner of war camps.

The country was in an expectant mood — eager for victory and ready for peace.

Celebration

Among the first Canadians to celebrate were the sailors on naval and merchant ships on the Atlantic, and soldiers and airmen based in Europe. Their long ordeal would soon be coming to an end, although many would still be tasked with providing security to occupied Germany, and bringing aid to the Netherlands, where the Dutch were desperate for emergency food and medical supplies distributed by Canadian forces. Across the Netherlands, Canadians were cheered and welcomed as heroes.

At home in Canada, massive crowds filled city streets. There were parades, band concerts, tickertape dropped from the sky by aircraft, and spontaneous singing, dancing and exuberance. Offices, stores and some factories closed for the day, while other factories remained open, churning out war material for the ongoing battles in the Pacific.

Canadian students also left their classrooms to take part in the festivities, or to attend special religious services of thanksgiving. In towns and cities and rural villages there were prayers and tears of relief, as well as music, happy shouting and, for the most part, good-natured partying.

"The silencing of the guns in Europe," said The Globe and Mail, "brought release from bondage of the spirit."

 

 

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