VE Day 75th Anniversary Gifts
On 8th May 1945 the Allied Forces of World War II officially accepted the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany’s armed forces. This ended nearly six years of a war that had cost so much. Millions of lives had been lost, homes and cities had been destroyed and families torn apart.
The end of World War II itself, did not occur until Japan surrendered on 15th August 1945. Despite this however, celebrations erupted in towns and cities across the world. Over a million people took to the streets of Great Britain singing and dancing. In London, crowds massed in Trafalgar Square and up The Mall to Buckingham Palace. There King George VI, Queen Elizabeth and Prime Minister Winston Churchill appeared on the balcony of the palace. They greeted the cheering crowds, sharing their feelings of relief and pride. Famously Princess Elizabeth (the future Queen Elizabeth II) and her sister Princess Margaret joined the masses incognito. The princesses fully immersed themselves in the revelry and joy, a very rare feeling of freedom.
2020 will observe the 75th Anniversary of this historic event and there are many VE Day 75th Anniversary Gifts available to mark this milestone and the events of World War II. Take a look at our replica miniature war medals or our vintage coins, they’ll make a great addition to your commemorative goody bags!
Nazi Germany Surrenders
On 7th May 1945, at the headquarters of the Supreme Allied Commander, General Eisenhower in Reims, France, General Alfred Jodl signed the treaty on behalf of Germany. The treaty officially came into effect the next day. The Imperial War Museum website states that ‘Germany’s surrender was not a surprise’. Indeed, the news had been anticipated by many for some time. It was late on 7th May that the BBC interrupted its scheduled broadcast with a news flash. The announcement stated that Victory in Europe Day would be a National holiday and would take place the next day.
Newspapers rallied to run the headlines. Special edition papers were printed and distributed to commemorate the long-awaited announcement. We have some excellent examples in our personalised newspaper books which make wonderful VE Day 75th anniversary gifts for enthusiasts. The books contain scans from original newspaper articles. Each book captures the stories and events of World War Two as they happened, including VE day. With no embellishments or alterations, the book’s contents are printed exactly as they were when first published. Our World War Two Pictorial Book also features masses of high-quality photographs. It provides a provocative and educational insight into WWII.
Many people didn’t wait for the official day to celebrate victory in Europe, they began the festivities as soon as they heard the news! Colourful bunting lined the streets, parades were organised, bonfires were lit, pubs were filled with revellers. Churchill had assurances from the Ministry of Food that there was enough beer in the capital! Dancing broke out, licensing hours were extended, and dance halls stayed open until midnight. People had endured so much, from horrendous air raids (captured in our Blitz memorabilia packs), to strict rationing of food and clothing. They were more than ready to let loose and enjoy themselves.
The 8th May was, however, a day of mixed emotions. The noise and celebrations were too much for some who mourned the loss of their loved ones. Others remained worried for those still serving overseas. The war years had taken their toll on many, leaving some individuals feeling weary and not in the party mood.
Winston Churchill reflected these feelings of mixed emotions in his famous speech to the nation at 3pm on 8th May. ‘We may allow ourselves a brief period of rejoicing; but lets us not forget for a moment the toils and efforts that lie ahead.’ He knew that they still had to defeat Japan and that the political, economic and social impacts of the war would be felt for many years to come. Indeed, ration books remained in place until 1954, nearly ten years later. Perhaps, if you are organising a VE day party, you might like to give everyone their own ration book (they can write their name in it) or a ration book themed mug, they make great VE day 75th anniversary gifts? On the other hand, why not treat yourself to a 1940’s hamper, packed with memorabilia for that authentic party feel?
VE Day Celebrations in 2020
It is ironic, that the 75th anniversary year for VE day should now be hit by its own horrendous difficulties. A new war, an unseen enemy, Coronavirus has impacted almost every country in the world. NHS workers, Care givers and keyworkers are the new heroes whilst thousands of people have sadly lost their lives.
Celebration plans for VE day have, understandably, been put on hold with a tentative hope that they may now be combined with VJ day celebrations on 15th and 16th August. During these difficult times sentiments from World War II are being echoed throughout the country. Even the Queen, in an unprecedented address to the nation, recalled the events of World War II. The Queen recollected how she and her sister had spoken to the evacuees to have courage whilst parted from loved ones. Her parting words indeed were, ‘We will meet again’.
We would like to reiterate those feelings here at Sweet and Nostalgic. These are troublesome times, but look back to World War II when our parents, grandparent and great grandparents faced such traumatic difficulties and loss. They survived, they came through it. When this terrible time in our current history is over, we will celebrate as they did with joy, revelry and of course reflective remembrance for those that we have lost. Stay Safe x