Bickenhill and Marston Green Parish Council remembers V. E. Day as one of the most joyous days in history, one that must never be forgotten.
As the Second World War reached its climax in 1945, with the Western Allies penetrating the German Reich, the scenes which greeted the soldiers liberating the concentration camps could have left none of them in any doubt as to why they were fighting and the reasons behind the Allied cause.
It is important to remember that the war cost the lives of millions of people; it destroyed homes and families, was the cause of suffering to populations of whole cities and the eleven months between the landings in Normandy and V.E. Day had seen some of the toughest fighting endured by the Western Allies not just in the Second World War, but in both World Wars.
Then, at 3 o’clock on the afternoon of the 8th May, the Prime Minister Winston Churchill proclaimed that Germany had surrendered unconditionally. He announced a period of rejoicing but said it would have to be brief because of the economical repercussions that were to continue long after the war had ended.
Although Germany had surrendered there was also still the conflict in the Pacific and, while the Allies were pressing their advantage on the Japanese homelands, Japan still had to be defeated. This, nevertheless, didn’t prevent communities coming together to mark the occasion and there were parades, street parties, bonfires and services of thanksgiving throughout the nation.
It was ordinary people doing extraordinary things that finally achieved the Victory in Europe and, what is more, the consequences of those extraordinary deeds still remain with us today.
We must never forget the great debt we owe and the Parish Council hope you will join the Nation in remembrance, with two minutes silence at 11 o’clock.