Friday, 8 May 2020

Why V.E. Day?

In another place, someone asked why we commemorate V.E. Day. After all, we have Remembrance Sunday every year, so why do we need another martial commemoration?

I think they are very different events. Remembrance Sunday is to remember those who fell in service of the country. This means not just the Second World War, but wars before and after, including somewhat politically-controversial conflicts such as the Falklands or the Gulf Wars. The rights and wrongs of those wars are irrelevant: we remember and honour those who served.

V.E. day is different. It commemorates the whole country, an entire generation who suffered to help free half of Europe from tyranny. An entire country who worked together in the face of evil. Not just the soldiers, sailors and airmen, but everyone. The evacuee, the ARP warden, the land girl and the codebreaker. Even the anonymous housewife who had to make do and mend and feed their families with limited rationing.

I cannot think of anything more worthy of commemoration.

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