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A special toast as VE Day anniversary is commemorated

05 May 2020

Councillor Janet Emsley at the war memorial in Littleborough.

The council is encouraging residents to raise a toast on Friday, 8 May 2020 in a special act of remembrance to mark the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe - VE Day.

A special tribute will take place at 3pm on Friday, 8 May 2020, as the community comes together to mark the moment Winston Churchill announced the end of the war in Europe.

Thousands of Rochdalians served on the frontline during World War 2 and are commemorated and remembered at war memorials in townships across the borough.

The VE Day toast is one of many national events taking place throughout the day, including a special 2 minutes' silence at 11am, a nationwide singalong of Dame Vera Lynn's 'we'll meet again' and a live stream of Armed Forces personnel recalling their memories of World War 2.

A series of outdoor events had been planned locally, but residents can still commemorate the day and pay tribute to the fallen from the safety of their own home.

To help mark the occasion, the council is also asking people to hang out bunting and email in photographs, showing them toasting the moment the guns fell silent. These will be promoted across the council's social media channels.

'This will be a moving and poignant anniversary as we mark an important moment in our history'

Councillor Janet Emsley, cabinet member for the Armed Forces said, "This will be a moving and poignant anniversary as we mark an important moment in our history. It was this day, 75 years ago, that marked the beginning of the end of the Second World War. We owe it to that generation of brave men and women to remember their sacrifices, by raising a toast from the comfort and safety of our homes."

She added: "Although the events we had planned rightly can't go ahead, we are still finding a way to reflect and remember. So please, pour your favourite tipple and take the time to say a simple 'thank you'. Lest we forget."