75th VE Day anniversary: A chance to salute our war heroes

TODAY commemorates the 75th anniversary of VE Day, which marked the ending of the Second World War on May 8, 1945. It was one of the deadliest military conflicts in history that claimed an estimated 70 to 85 million lives during the six years of hostilities. Fighting ceased with an unconditional surrender by Natzi Germany, after its failed horrific attempt to take over Europe. Britain celebrated like never before to toast the end of the bloody battle that claimed more than 50 million civilian lives - twice as many as those lost in the fierce fighting. There were street parties and much flag-waving, but it will be a more sombre celebration today, because of the new silent killer - Covid-19 - that has locked down the country. Instead people are being encouraged to celebrate from the safety of their own homes, with a national toast to the heroes of World War Two planned at 3pm. Before then, at 11am, the Royal British Legion is calling on people to join a moment of reflection and Remembrance at 11am, pausing for a two-minute silence. Later, at 9pm, there is a chance to mark the passing of VE Day, by standing on doorsteps break into "We'll Meet Again," the wartime song famously associated with Forces sweetheart Dame Vera Lynn, who in March celebrated her 103rd birthday.

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