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VE Day “celebrations”

(212 Posts)
vegansrock Tue 05-May-20 04:24:12

I keep seeing on my local FB exhortations to organise “socially distanced” street parties, dress up in 1940s clothes , decorate the house and sing Vera Lynn songs. I’m all for a drink and a chat with the neighbours at anytime, and quite happy to keep a distance, but AIBU to suggest a “celebration” is not appropriate in the midst of a pandemic in which thousands have died? My father was in the navy but didn’t get demobbed till after VJ Day so he wasn't present at the first VE Day, so I can’t even be thinking of him. I’ll be remembering those who lost their lives and those who are suffering now, but won’t be dressing up or having a singalong. Am I just being an old misery?

BlueBelle Tue 05-May-20 06:08:46

I ve never heard of people celebrating VE Day other than the original day,
If my town has celebrated its passed me by

chelseababy Tue 05-May-20 07:01:36

We are doing this

Nansnet Tue 05-May-20 07:56:00

I remember lots of street parties in my home town for the 50th anniversary of VE Day. We had to get a special license from the local council in order to close off part or our road. It was a wonderful day, with everyone coming together to celebrate.

However, I do question whether, under the current circumstances, it's the right thing to do ...? I do totally appreciate that with everyone having been in lockdown for several weeks, that many may feel the need to lighten the mood so to speak, and have something to look forward to. But, with so much sadness and misery for so many families, due to Covid19 deaths, it seems a bit insensitive to be celebrating ...

On the other hand, speaking as one whose family has been touched by this dreadful virus, with the death of a family member on my husband's side of the family, I do also believe that life goes on, and things need to be celebrated. I'm just not sure that during a lockdown is the right time to be out having street parties. I'm sure most people would be sensible, but we all know that some would take it too far, and completely flout the lockdown regulationshmm

harrigran Tue 05-May-20 08:32:50

I will quietly remember all those who served and those who lost their lives but will not be out celebrating in the street.

Pittcity Tue 05-May-20 08:44:22

I'm putting my flags ( small plastic ones kept for Jubilees etc.) in the front window and watching the TV celebrations. Nothing else planned in my road although there are " "celebrations" in other parts of town.

Marmight Tue 05-May-20 09:10:52

Yes we're in the middle of pandemic. Thousands have very sadly died but millions of us are doing our part to help contain the virus. Why not, metaphorically ‘get together’ to remember? We’re all (12 households) planning to observe the silence at 11 am by standing on the lane outside our respective properties. In the afternoon we’ll have tea/? and cake individually at a distance, a social chat at a distance and also help celebrate a neighbour’s 30th birthday as a surprise - at a distance. Life has to go on and after 6 weeks isolation we all need human contact albeit 6’+ away!

TwiceAsNice Tue 05-May-20 09:20:31

I will observe the silence on Friday but not interested in doing anything else if I’m honest

littleflo Tue 05-May-20 09:24:26

My DD lives in a village with a very active ‘help your neighbour scheme’. They are Decorating their front Garden, dressing up and putting a table in the street, where people can help themselves to cakes A lot of elderly neighbours have received help. Marshalls will be organising social distance when they take the food.

She has said that this pandemic has brought out the absolute best in the village. The newsletter going out to neighbours about the day says ‘ this current generation owes such a lot to the people who sacrificed so much for us. We hope you will see this as and any help you have received, as a thank you for all you have done for us”.

I think it is wonderful. It is not a celebration, more a thank you gesture and acknowledgement. There village is one of the fortunate ones which have been able to keep everyone safe.


Missfoodlove Tue 05-May-20 09:29:42

We have the flag my husbands parents flew from their home in 1945.
We have contacted the owners of the house and they are going to fly it for the anniversary.

Chewbacca Tue 05-May-20 09:34:29

I think that you abu. Any cause for spreading a bit of happiness and cheer at this time is surely to be welcomed and I'll be joining in with my neighbours on Friday. We've organised a neighbourhood picnic on our front lawns and we will raise a glass to give thanks to all of those who gave so generously in WW2 and to those who are giving so generously now. I can't see how having a picnic on your front lawn is a bad idea at any time tbh.

B9exchange Tue 05-May-20 09:51:17

I guess the same could have been said 75 years ago, 'so many people have died, lost loved ones, lost their homes and jobs, and we are still at war with Japan, now is not the time to celebrate', but the nation wanted to recognise the fact that the sacrifices had resulted in peace for the future, in Europe at least. I don't think we should ever underestimate those sacrifices or cease to be grateful for our nation getting through it, so much gets forgotten with the passage of time.

I don't think it matters how you remember and continue the thankfulness, whether a quiet prayer inside, or a joyful flag waving socially distanced event, you do what is right for you. For those enjoying having a small event to organise to take their minds off what is happening to the world right now, and especially involving the children in making history real, I'm all for encouraging it!

timetogo2016 Tue 05-May-20 09:56:12

Same here harrygran.

Hilarybee Tue 05-May-20 09:59:30

If I were to imagine I had died fighting in WW2 but I was able to see that people 75 years later were celebrating VE Day I would be so happy (a far fetched scenario I know ??)

vampirequeen Tue 05-May-20 10:00:33

I won't be taking part but atm anything that makes some people feel better is probably worthwhile.

My mam doesn't want to celebrate until VJ day because although many younger people think of VE as the end of the war, it wasn't. She remembers celebrating at the time but she also remembers that many were still fighting in the Far East and thinks that we should celebrate the 75th anniversary of when it was truly not nearly over.

Linda369 Tue 05-May-20 10:01:42

It feels crass when so many are still dying including, the last time I looked 171 NHS and other medical staff had died. Just to see how badly our healthcare professionals have been treated I have just seen a chart which shows that per million population deaths of healthcare workers are 1.57 Italy, 1.31 U.K., 0.53 Spain, 0.26 France
How is the U.K. not simply outraged by this?

Purpledaffodil Tue 05-May-20 10:04:46

Children across the road from us have done a flyer and posted through doors. Seems curmudgeonly not to respond. so we shall be sitting awkwardly in front garden with a picnic. We cannot complain that children are lacking in initiative and have no sense of history, then snub them when they do show both imho.

aprilgrace Tue 05-May-20 10:11:38

I’ve knitted a red white and blue scarf for my teddy that I put in the window when the children were all doing Bear Hunts. The teddies have also had a Teddy Bears Picnic and worn yellow and rainbow colours. It’s great fun !

GillT57 Tue 05-May-20 10:14:38

I will quietly remember all those who served and those who lost their lives but will not be out celebrating in the street

I am with Harrigran on this. I have always felt uncomfortable with braying nationalism and flag waving. Quiet thanks and appreciation for what people sacrificed and suffered, but I feel that this may be hijacked and become a 'we won the war' type event. I appreciate this will not be what happens everywhere, and many will use it as an opportunity to spend a happy hour or two with their neighbours, but I will not be outside flag waving, no bunting.

Craftycat Tue 05-May-20 10:20:12

No Vegansrock- you are not being unreasonable at all.
My father was a Japanese POW in Burma- on the railway & in Changi jail.
My poor Grandmother had to watch everyone celebrating
'the end of the war' when it was many months before these men were brought home. They had to come by boat so they could be 'fed up' before their relatives could see them as they weighed about 4-5 stone by that time having been systematically starved & abused.
There was no celebration for them & never a word since.
He never talked about his experiences as it was drilled into them on the boat on the way home NOT to tell their families as it would 'upset them'. He never spoke about it until he was very old but had nightmares for years. He had no bitterness at all- it was not in his nature- a kind gentle man.
If they celebrate VE day then they should also celebrate VJ day.
I for one will not be joining in the street party our road are planning.

H1954 Tue 05-May-20 10:20:55

Yes Chewbacca, I agree. Until this pandemic we weren't all that close a community but we've pulled together and supported each other.

We are having two minutes silence outside our homes at 11am on Friday to remember those who have paid the ultimate price for our liberty in all conflicts. Equally, we all acknowledge Remembrance Day too.

On Fridays afternoon we will be flying our flags to celebrate our liberty even though many of us have lost loved ones in many periods of conflict. We see no harm in a picnic tea and a little music.

I know, for many that were fighting in the Far East, there was nothing to celebrate at the time but VE Day did give some light at the end of a very long, arduous tunnel.

However GN members spend their day on Friday, bless you all, stay strong, stay healthy but do give thanks for your liberty.

harrysgran Tue 05-May-20 10:21:19

I will observe the two minutes silence but no flag waving

Daisymae Tue 05-May-20 10:23:19

My uncle had been recently killed in Burma so that generation of my family never saw much to celebrate. I have been wondering whether it is appropriate in this day and age and what with the current situation I can't find any enthusiasm for a celebration. People are not only sick and dying, many others are losing or have lost their jobs.

Aepgirl Tue 05-May-20 10:25:56

Of course we should celebrate - there’s little else to do at the moment. For goodness sake, if it wasn’t for people giving their lives for us we would all be speaking German, and have nothing to celebrate.

Neilspurgeon0 Tue 05-May-20 10:26:03

Personally I will take my bagpipes to a very small, very local cemetery and play at 3pm. Probably no one around, unless there is a funeral going on, in which case I will time my playing to suit the occasion. In this cemetery there are three commonwealth graves, the white Portland stone ones, two for WWI and one for WW2, but I will mostly be thinking of the lads who didn’t come back from “down south” with me in 1982. Not a celebration, more a commemoration, although were it not for coronavirus I would have been in parade that morning and at a local war memorial for the 3pm pipe but I cannot justify travelling that far in the circumstances