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Source: Northern Ireland City of Armagh

VE Day 75 is a three-day international celebration taking place from 8 – 10 May 2020 to mark 75 years since the guns fell silent and officially ended WWII in Europe (8 May 1945).

Years of carnage and destruction had come to an end and millions of people celebrated peace, mourned their loved – ones and hoped for the future, but not forgetting those still in conflict until 15 August when it was announced that Japan had surrendered unconditionally to the Allies, effectively ending World War II.

VE Day 75 will provide an opportunity to remember, reflect and pay tribute to the millions who played such a vital part in achieving it peace.

Churches and Faith groups are invited to participate in two specific aspects of this weekend of remembrance.

Friday 8 May 2020, 7pm – Ringing out for Peace
Bells in churches and cathedrals will ring out at 7pm in a collective celebration of VE Day 75.  The sound of church bells is deeply rooted in our culture.  They provide the grand soundtrack to our historic moments, calling us to wake, to pray, to work, to arms, to feast, to celebrate and, in times of crisis, to come together.

Sunday 10 May 2020, 10.30am – Church Services of Celebration and Commemoration
Services will take place in cathedrals and churches throughout the UK, Channel Islands and the Isle of Man to celebrate the peace we share today and remember those who lost their lives or returned home dreadfully wounded. The services will also recognise the sacrifices of those who kept the nation fed and the factories, mines and hospitals working during the most challenging of times.

Tribute to the Millions & the Last Post
Those planning services will be encouraged to ask a representative from their local community to read out the Tribute to the Millions, which can be downloaded at www.veday75.org, and involve a local bugler or trumpeter to play the Last Post and Reveille.

Further information and these events and other events being organised throughout the UK please visit www.veday75.org

VE Day 75 will be an opportunity for all to remember the enormous sacrifices that were made at home and abroad and to celebrate as people did 75 years ago, the arrival of peace in Europe.

The 75th anniversary will provide an opportunity for all to reflect on the enormous sacrifice, courage and determination of people from all walks of life who saw us through this dark and terrifying period.

To remember the members of the Armed Forces and Merchant Navy from many countries who gave their lives or returned home injured in body and mind.  The hard-working women and men who operated the factories, mines, shipyards and farms, and ARP wardens, police officers, doctors, nurses, fireman, local defence volunteers and others who toiled day and night selflessly on the home front during difficult frightening and uncertain times.

Invitation to participate in VE Day 75th anniversary programme has been extended to all local authorities throughout the UK.  Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon Borough Council will be delivering a programme of activities including a free shared history lecture series, details of which will be made available in the coming months.

MIL OSI United Kingdom