The 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe (VE) Day was celebrated across Chatham-Kent, the province and the country on Friday, May 8, 2020.
Members of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 642 Pipe Band in Chatham traveled across the region to mark the occasion. This included stops at the Wallaceburg and the Dresden Cenotaphs.
“Thanks to members of the 642 Pipe Band for putting these tributes together,” officials with the Wallaceburg Legion Branch 18 posted on social media.
Here is a video from the stop in Dresden:
A special fly over took place in Dresden as well.
“Thank you to the 403 Honor Flight for the flyover in celebration of the 75th year of Victory in Europe,” officials with the Dresden Legion Branch 113 posted on social media.
“We will remember them.”
Here is a photo posted by Branch 113 of the fly over:
Ontario Premier Doug Ford issued a statement to commemorate VE Day as well.
“On May 8, 1945, Canadians flooded the streets to cheer and celebrate as the Allied Forces liberated Europe from the brutal tyranny of the Nazi regime,” Premier Ford said.
“During World War II, Canada played a pivotal role in securing this important victory, from its troops bravely storming the beaches of Normandy on D-Day to freeing the Netherlands from Nazi occupation.”
Premier Ford added: “For many, the victory was bittersweet. While more than one million Canadians served during the Second World War, over 45,000 soldiers made the ultimate sacrifice.”
Premier Ford said while “this important milestone” cannot be marked together in person, everyone stands united in recognizing the heroism and bravery of those who fought to defend Canada’a freedoms and protect Canada’s way of life.
“As Canadians, we can take inspiration from the legacy of those who blazed the trail before us,” Premier Ford said.
“By sticking together, we can overcome any obstacle, especially during these extraordinary and difficult times. I want to take a moment to thank our men and women in uniform, both our veterans and those who are actively serving today, for keeping our country safe and free.”
Premier Ford added: “On this day and every day, we honour these Canadian heroes who gave everything in the service of their country. For their sacrifice, we will never forget.”
Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, also issued a statement about VE Day.
“Today, on the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day, we pause to reflect and honour all those who fought, and those who made the ultimate sacrifice to defend freedom and democracy,” Prime Minister Trudeau said.
“On this day in 1945, Canadians joined the chorus of millions around the world to celebrate the end of the Second World War in Europe. With the unconditional surrender of the Nazi regime, the devastation, fear, and misery caused by more than five-and-a-half years of fighting gave way to feelings of relief, hope, and optimism. Although the war in Asia and the Pacific continued, parades were held and people sang in the streets as Canada and its Allies celebrated the end of a struggle that had tested our resilience and humanity.”
Prime Minister Trudeau added: “While this year’s commemorative ceremonies will move online due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, I invite all Canadians to pay tribute to the courage and sacrifice of those who fought in Europe, and supported the war effort at home, during the Second World War. We remain forever in the debt of all those who answered the call to serve, and for the people in uniform who gave everything so that their children and grandchildren could live in freedom and peace. Lest we forget.”
To learn more about VE Day, visit: www.legion.ca