News

VE Day 75th Anniversary

Published: 01 Mar 2020 00:01

Events to commemorate end of World War II in Europe.

A series of events to mark 75 years since Victory in Europe Day has been announced by Veterans Minister Graeme Dey.

The commemorations will honour the service and dedication of all those who helped secure peace, including those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Events, delivered in partnership by the Scottish Government, Legion Scotland and Poppyscotland, include a parade through Edinburgh on 8 May, a free open-air concert and an RAF flypast.

World War II veterans and their carers are being offered free travel and accommodation in Edinburgh.

Communities across Scotland will be encouraged to host their own commemorative events and schools will be given learning packs to help pupils understand the significance of VE Day.

The Scottish Government and Legion Scotland are providing more than £50,000 to help fund the programme of events.

Veterans Minister Graeme Dey said:

“Although three quarters of a century have passed since the end of World War II, we must never forget the sacrifices made by those from across the Commonwealth and Allied nations.

“Their service allowed us to enjoy the freedoms and relative peace we now take for granted and it is important veterans of the War are central to these commemorations.

“I encourage communities from across Scotland to be part of this inclusive, welcoming and poignant event.”

Dr Claire Armstrong, chief executive of Legion Scotland, added:

“The 75th anniversary of VE Day is a hugely important moment in our nation’s history. 

“It is a time for communities from across Scotland to join together in celebration and commemoration, and we want to ensure that those who sacrificed so much during World War II take centre stage. 

“I therefore encourage applications from veterans and anyone else who directly contributed to the war effort to be part of these events.”

Background

On 7 May 1945, Nazi Germany formally and unconditionally surrendered to the Allied Forces, bringing to an end six years of war.

The following day was declared VE (Victory in Europe) Day and millions of people celebrated, marking the victory with street parties, dancing and singing.

The Scottish Government has moved the May Bank holiday to 8 May to coincide with the VE Day anniversary.

The parade will feature vintage military vehicles, motorcycles from Legion Scotland’s Riders Branch, pipe bands, veterans, current personnel from the Armed Forces, horses and youth groups.

The concert will be held in Princes Street Gardens and will follow the theme of Scotland’s involvement in World WarII .

Those wishing to apply to be part of the VE Day 75 events should email b.ward@legionscotland.org.uk or telephone 0131 550 1562.