Victory in Europe Day marks the day, towards the end of World War Two, when fighting against Nazi Germany came to an end on the continent. Over the May Bank Holiday weekend, three days of commemorative events were due to take place to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day.
Restrictions to contain COVID-19 have changed the shape of how we celebrate the contribution of those who fought with such courage for our freedom. Bishop Paul Mason, the Catholic Bishop of the Forces, said he recognises something of the war-time community spirit and solidarity in today’s very different battle:
“It’s an ironic twist of fate that our VE Day celebration of victory and liberation should find us both embattled and locked down. How readily we have seen in these days, however, that same spirit of determination and pulling together of our forebears in World War Two.
“Although we are not able to mark the 75th anniversary as planned, I am sure it will not stop us from remembering them, thanking them and celebrating the courage of all those who bought our freedom at such cost. We pray for them and ask God to inspire us with that same sense of sacrifice in our own lives. “May they all rest in peace.”
From the Act of Commitment for Peace
Lord God our Father,
we pledge ourselves to serve you and all humankind, in the cause of peace,
for the relief of want and suffering,
and for the praise of your name.
Guide us by your Spirit;
give us wisdom;
give us courage;
give us hope;
and keep us faithful now and always.