75th Anniversary of VE Day

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75th Anniversary of VE Day: 8 May 2020

At 3pm on 8 May 1945, Prime Minister Winston Churchill formally announced that the war in Europe was over. Across the nation, parties carried on long into the night. Famously the Queen, then Princess Elizabeth, together with Princess Margaret, joined the celebrating crowds. The Queen described it as "one of the most memorable nights of my life".

The celebrations included church services: St Paul’s cathedral alone hosted ten. Those services blended thanksgiving with remembrance of the millions who had died, and the recognition that many others had seen their lives changed forever. In the east, the war with Japan would continue into August. Churchill himself said “we may allow ourselves a brief period of rejoicing, but let us not forget for a moment the toils and efforts that lie ahead".

Plans to celebrate VE Day have changed substantially, but we will still mark this anniversary as a nation. Not least we will give thanks for 75 years of peace in Europe and the sacrifices that made it possible.

As the church continues to journey through the Easter season, we remember Jesus’ victory over death. We are also reminded of the cost of Christ’s ultimate victory. The risen Jesus bears the wounds of his crucifixion. Through his sacrifice, Jesus entered into the world’s suffering in order to overcome all that would separate us from God and each other.

75 years on from VE day, we remember both the sacrifices made then, and the sacrifices being made now to preserve the nation’s wellbeing and the peace and safety of the world. Even in these times of isolation, we are finding a fresh unity of purpose in standing together to overcome illness, in applauding those giving of themselves in serving others, and in honouring those who have died, not least those who have died caring for others.

Easter tells us that, through these acts of compassion and solidarity, we weave our story into God’s story of love eternal. Our wounds are found in the wounds of Jesus. With him, we will rise again.

Alleluia! Christ is risen!

Canon Dr Andrew Braddock

 

 

 


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