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Celebrate VE Day anniversary safely

People are being reminded to follow covid-restrictions and stay safe if they plan to celebrate this year’s VE Day anniversary today (Saturday, May 8).

Today is 76 years since Britain celebrated the end of the Second World War in Europe. Similar to last year, large-scale public celebrations cannot take place due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Looking back at celebrations over the years

This was in Stamford for VE Day (34479575)
This was in Stamford for VE Day (34479575)

While covid means that VE Day celebrations will be different for a second year in a row, there are still plenty of ways for Rutland residents and communities to mark the occasion safely. This includes researching and sharing your family’s own Second World War history online, or finding out about your nearest local war memorial.

Families can also submit details of a loved one who fought during the world wars, so these can be displayed on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s digital Wall of Remembrance.

You can also look back at the Oakham Castle selection of memories, tributes, stories and images published for the 75th anniversary of VE Day, showing how the county celebrated the arrival of peace after years of war.

Many people celebrated last year’s 75th anniversary of VE Day from their front doors or gardens, due to lockdown restrictions.

This year, the Royal British Legion are asking people to put a ‘Tommy in your window’ - a silhouette of a First World War soldier - to "celebrate a remarkable generation". All proceeds raised go towards the charity’s work in supporting vulnerable veterans and people with disabilities.

Dr Sarah Furness, Lord-Lieutenant of Rutland, said: “Many of us will want to remember the huge debt we owe all those who served in the Second World War. VE Day allows us to be proud and thankful and celebrate the end of that immense hardship. I also know that the wider community is hugely proud and supportive of Rutland’s Armed Forces population, including many veterans.

“Due to the continuing risk of Covid-19, our message to anyone planning to put the bunting out again and be involved in commemorating VE Day is to take account of social distancing and other restrictions.”

Coun Ian Razzell (Con), Rutland County Council Armed Forces Champion and former army officer, said: “VE Day marks the day which brought the Second World War to a close in Europe in 1945. Since then, it has become a day to show our thanks and gratitude, and to remember the sacrifice of servicemen and women who fought to keep us safe.

“I know that lots of people will be keen to mark this occasion out of huge respect for our Armed Forces. This is only right and proper. However, please make sure anything you do to celebrate at home or in your community is done in line with the latest covid safety restrictions.”

Under current covid restrictions, you must not meet indoors with anybody you do not live with, unless you have formed a support bubble with them, or another legal exemption applies.

You can meet up outdoors with friends and family you do not live with, either in a group of up to six from any number of households (children of all ages count towards the limit of six) or in a group of any size from up to two households.

For further information on the latest covid restrictions and public health advice, please visit: www.gov.uk/coronavirus.

If you're celebrating, send your photos to: smeditor@stamfordmercury.co.uk

Photos from last year's celebrations

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