VE Day events move online due to coronavirus pandemic

Service of remembrance and two-minute silence will lead Scotland's commemorations on 8 May.

VE Day events move online due to coronavirus pandemic SNS
This year marks 75 years since the end of World War Two.

This year’s VE Day commemorations – marking 75 years since the end of the Second World War – will take place online due to the coronavirus pandemic.

A service of remembrance and a two-minute silence will lead Scotland’s public commemorations on May 8.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will send a video message of thanks on the landmark anniversary, which will also feature an online concert.

Initial plans to mark the occasion included a parade, public concert and reception but they have been scrapped due to the ongoing lockdown measures in place to tackle the spread of Covid-19.

Veterans Minister Graeme Dey said: “As the 75th anniversary of VE Day approaches, it is only right we pay tribute to the determination and the sacrifices made by the men and women who lived through the Second World War.

“Despite the difficult circumstances we are currently in, Legion Scotland and Poppyscotland are doing outstanding work in helping people across Scotland come together virtually on the 8 May to give thanks to our World War Two generation.

“I hope the whole nation can join with me online in honouring a generation whose contribution continues to impact on us all in many ways.”

Led by Legion Scotland and Poppyscotland in partnership with the Scottish Government, the commemorations will include children and families currently learning at home.

“While the lockdown restrictions have forced us to postpone the planned physical events, we are confident that our virtual events will bring people across Scotland together in a memorable, shared moment of commemoration and celebration.”

Dr Claire Armstrong, Chief Executive of Legion Scotland

Dr Claire Armstrong, Chief Executive of Legion Scotland, said: “The 75th anniversary of VE Day is an important milestone in the nation’s history and we are excited to launch our virtual programme.

“While the lockdown restrictions have forced us to postpone the planned physical events, we are confident that our virtual events will bring people across Scotland together in a memorable, shared moment of commemoration and celebration.”

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.

In addition to virtual events, Poppyscotland have also produced a range of online educational resources for activities for families can use to learn about VE Day and participate in marking the 75th anniversary at home.

Poppyscotland Chief Executive Mark Bibbey said: “We’ve had incredibly positive feedback from the parents who have already made use of them and would encourage anyone home schooling utilise this comprehensive digital resource.”