Borderers urged to show support for online VE Day 75 events

While the ongoing coronavirus pandemic means there’ll be no VE Day-themed street parties or celebratory get-togethers, Borderers are being urged to still do their bit to ensure the bunting hangs and there’s dancing in the doorsteps instead.

Thursday, 7th May 2020, 10:50 am
Updated Thursday, 7th May 2020, 11:00 am
Tony Hooman pays his respects ahead of VE Day, in Edinburgh yesterday. Please credit: Mark Owens/Poppyscotland.

Originally there were plans in place for parties, parades and ceremonies Borders-wide during tomorrow’s bank holiday, but a revised programme organised by charities PoppyScotland and Legion Scotland will instead see online events mark the important milestone.

It includes a two-minute silence at 11am; a prayer led by the Archbishop of Canterbury; the broadcasting of extracts of Winston Churchill’s VE Day speech, followed by the Prince of Wales reading an extract from his grandfather King George VI’s diary, then an address from the Queen.

Borderers are being urged to support the online events.

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Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale MP David Mundell said: “I’m sure people across the constituency will mark the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe with pride, sadness and a mixture of other emotions.

“For older generations especially, there may be memories of relatives or friends who served their country during the war whilst there are still some amongst our over-90s who were in the forces.

“Unfortunately, relief that victory in Europe had eventually been won was tinged with sadness for all the service people and civilians who had lost their lives and the fact the war in the Far East was still to be won.

“It will also be a time to express gratitude to our armed forces today, particularly their work in efforts to combat coronavirus in many ways, most recently locally in supporting testing efforts in our region.”

Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk MP John Lamont added: “I know that there will be a number of disappointed people who will not be able to attend events across the Borders. For one, I know that many were looking forward to the events planned in my home-town of Coldstream.

“However, these new plans to mark the day will ensure that the sacrifices and efforts of all those alive during the Second World War will not be forgotten.

“I hope that many Borderers will feel able to participate in some of the planned events.”

Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale MSP Christine Grahame said the anniversary is an important day in Scotland’s history and merits being noted.

“It was a war in which my father served with the King’s Own Scottish Borderers and my mother the Land Army, and where my father lost his best friend, Jock Hunter, from Hawick, during the landings at Arnhem,” she said.

“When my late father saw that his name was not on the memorial there, he interceded to see that it was added, so for me VE Day brings back personal memories.

“It is right that despite the difficult situation we currently all find ourselves in, we pay tribute to the determination and sacrifices made by the men and women in the Second World War.

“I hope as many people as possible locally will join millions of others on Friday, to honour those who laid down their lives in a shared moment national commemoration.”

South Scotland SNP list MSP Paul Wheelhouse added: “It is only right that we pay tribute to the determination and sacrifices made by the men and women in the Second World War.

“I hope as many people as possible will join millions of others online to honour those who made extraordinary sacrifices in a shared moment of national commemoration, and they do so in a way that protects us from the risk of spreading coronavirus.

“The lockdown we are living through will not last forever and before long I hope that our veterans and their families will be able to meet again.”

There’ll be a national doorstep salute at 8am.

The Legion Scotland Service of Remembrance will be broadcast on Legion Scotland and Poppy Scotland’s social media channels from 10.40am until 11.15am. The online concert will then begin at 11.45am. until 1pm.

At 2.45pm you can see a replay of Churchill’s speech on BBC1 and later at 8pm a musicla celebration swill be shown on the same channel.