Remember, commemorate and celebrate VE Day 75 weekend on the ‘home front’ says The Council, while newspapers encourage citizens to pay tribute to the multicultural heroes.
The government has shut down all national Victory in Europe weekend celebrations, and the Council wants people stay at home, remember the sacrifices made by everyone, and to take part in activities online.
The newspapers are talking about the government’s criticism of people in potentially deadly conga lines, warning of an increase in ‘incidents’ of people breaking the lockdown guidelines and enjoying the sunny weather in the fresh air, which is being described as a battle by police in London.
A service of remembrance was livestreamed yesterday around the time of the two-minute silence. The service strictly obeyed social distancing, and included an address from Councillor Nick Forbes, Leader of the Council, a prayer from Bishop of Newcastle, Christine Hardman, with the epitaph given by Lt Col Steve Burton MBE, Commanding Officer of 5 Fusiliers. The Last Post and Reveille was played by Bugler SSgt Richard Stacey of 5 Fusiliers, signalling the start and finish of the two-minute silence, before the Lord Mayor laid a wreath on behalf of the people of Newcastle.
At 14:55 yesterday the Lord Mayor, Armed Forces Champion Councillor Karen Kilgour, Deputy Leader Councillor Joyce McCarty, Opposition Leader Councillor Anita Lower and others lead Newcastle on social media in raising a Toast to everyone who served in World War 2, saying the words “To those who gave so much, we thank you” .
Cllr Karen Kilgour said “I am honoured to be the council’s Armed Forces Champion and privileged to be part of these events that are a tribute to those who gave so much for our country during World War 2.
“Whether it was fighting on the front lines, working in a munitions factory or being forced, as a child, to leave behind your family and everything you knew to live with strangers, every man, woman and child played their part. We must never forget what they sacrificed to achieve victory and bring about peace in Europe.
“Although we may not be able to commemorate VE Day in the way we had planned we can mark the occasion by decorating our homes with bunting, coming out of our front doors and raising a toast to the heroes of the past while showing respect to the heroes of today by Staying Safe, Staying at Home and Saving lives.”