How to celebrate VE Day in 2020

How to celebrate VE Day in 2020

Chancellor Angela Merkel will join President Frank-Walter Steinmeier in laying wreaths at Neue Wache - Germany's main memorial to the victims of war and dictatorship, followed by a speech by the president.

Bob Gamble OBE, the Royal British Legion's Assistant Director of Commemorative Events, said: "As we face some of the most challenging times since the Second World War, now more than ever it is important to unite in recognition of people's service to the nation, just as communities did 75 years ago".

The Peace Pledge Union (PPU) has described the plans as an insult to the memory of 60 million people who died in World War Two. "Over the past months, our Nation has faced remarkable adversity during the pandemic".

For the first time, this year's VE Day will be marked at home and online with a host of events to honour those who served, be it raising a glass during the Nation's Toast, cooking based on ingredients culled from ration books or planning a #VEDay75stayathome party.

Germany marked the anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe on Friday with a call for global cooperation to beat the coronavirus, as western economies prepared to fearless still mounting death tolls with a return to normal business.

But it was the German commemorations that were most closely watched, as the country does not usually mark the anniversary of the Nazis' unconditional surrender to the Allies with much fanfare.

World War Two cost more than 50 million lives, of whom an estimated 25 million were Soviet military and civilians.

Russian Federation celebrates the end of the war the following day, on 9 May, and has also scaled back celebrations.

To mark the occasion, President Macron will lay a wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier in Paris.

As members of the public are no longer able to attend national and regional VE Day 75 commemorations or events due to the Covid-19 pandemic, The Royal British Legion has helped arrange some remote activity so people can participate from home.

This year however the city of Berlin declared a one-off public holiday on Friday.

Instead, an air force flypast will take place and Mr Putin will lay flowers at a war memorial near Moscow's Red Square.

"And when I look at our country today, and see what we are willing to do to protect and support one another, I say with pride that we are still a nation those courageous soldiers, sailors and airmen would recognise and admire. I find this distortion of history and relativisation of Nazi crimes irresponsible", he said.

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