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Sunderland remembers as the nation celebrates the 75th anniversary of VE Day

VE day celebrations

Sunderland City Council is encouraging residents to commemorate Victory in Europe from the comfort of their own homes this year.

On Friday 8 May people across the country will celebrate Victory in Europe (VE) Day. This year will be the 75th anniversary since the fighting against Nazi Germany ended in Europe. In Sunderland, street parties took place and people danced in Mowbray Park to celebrate.

Originally, a wreath laying ceremony had been planned at Sunderland War Memorial and residents were asked to come together for street parties. However due to COVID-19 and social distancing regulations this is no longer possible. Sunderland City Council is now asking the public to show them how they are choosing to celebrate VE Day at home.

Instead of street parties, residents are being encouraged to decorate their houses in bunting and throw their own tea parties with their household. They can also make and share their favourite war-time recipes that have been passed down through generations. Residents are also being asked to commemorate veterans by uploading photos and stories of family members who lived during the war or sharing positive video messages to thank servicemen for all that they do.

On Friday 8 at 9pm people are also being asked to sing the war-time classic We'll meet again from their doorsteps, in a social-distanced street singalong. The song brought a message of hope during World War Two that is now poignant during the Coronavirus lockdown.

Sunderland Library Services are uploading digital e-books and audiobooks of VE Day and World War Two novels to access while in isolation. This includes Nancy Revell's The Shipyard Girls series, Jean Fullerton's A Pocket Full of Dreams, and Welcome Home by Margaret Dickinson.

Sunderland City Council will also be lighting up their monuments, such as Penshaw Monument and Keel Square, in red, white and blue to support the celebrations and show patriotism to all veterans and those still serving.

Councillor Michael Mordey, the Deputy Leader of Sunderland City Council, said: "Every year in November Sunderland marks Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day. Now, 75 years on we are reflecting and commemorating the defeat of Nazi Germany and her allies. The Second World War was very much a 'people's war' as those on the Home Front were as much a part of the victory as those fighting on land, in the air or on the seas. Sunderland itself was hit hard by bombing in this war and we remember these victims of this terrible and deadly conflict.

"We have now begun a new fight and it's vital that households continue to social distance rather than hosting street parties together. Everybody can still demonstrate their commemorations through social media. Please share your photos and videos to #SunderlandVEDay75 to show that our city and communities are continuing to celebrate this significant day."

Follow Sunderland City Council on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SunderlandUKOfficial and on Twitter @SunderlandUK and Instagram @SunderlandUKOfficial to keep up to date on how you can get involved with VE Day celebrations.

Share your celebration photos and videos using the #SunderlandVEDay75

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Did you know?

L.S. Lowry spent his holidays in Sunderland at Seaburn, painting scenes of the coast, port and coal mines. The city is the home to one of the best collections of L.S. Lowry paintings in England.

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