CAMBRIDGE City Council is marking VE-Day and Europe Day this bank holiday weekend, and is inviting residents to share in the occasion.
While the celebrations that had been planned to mark the 75th anniversary of the end of the war in Europe have had to be cancelled, the Mayor of Cambridge, Councillor Gerri Bird, and her counterpart from Cambridge’s twin city in Germany, Heidelberg, as well as Deputy Leader of the Council, Anna Smith, have contributed to a virtual service that has been organised in partnership with the Royal British Legion, and will be broadcast on Cambridge 105FM at 14.55 on Friday.
Residents are also encouraged to mark the day in their own homes, and many families have been making bunting or digging out Glen Miller records to help get “in the mood”.
Saturday 9 May is Europe Day, which each year marks the commitment to peace and collaboration in Europe after the end of World War II. This year the day pays tribute to all those across the continent who have been tackling the coronavirus crisis and marks 70 years since the Schumann declaration, an important step in the process of building a more peaceful Europe.
Councillor Anna Smith, Executive Councillor for Communities, explained: “This weekend we mark 75 years since the ending of World War Two in Europe, and we pause to remember the suffering and sacrifices of a whole generation in the UK and across the continent. Like many others, I will be thinking especially of family members who were affected either fighting or on the home front.
“And we also celebrate the spirit of cooperation which has marked the last 75 years, and which has helped prevent another world war. Europe Day provides an opportunity to celebrate the huge contribution to Cambridge’s economy, community and academic achievements that thousands of non-UK European citizens have made over the years and will continue to make in the future.
“Cambridge City Council also continues to promote the Government’s EU Settlement Scheme, and to work with local community organisations to support residents who wish to apply to the scheme. We urge all who haven’t yet applied to do so as soon as they can do it safely.”
While the city council would normally fly the Union flag over the Guildhall on VE Day, and the European flag on Europe Day, it will not be possible to do so this year, given the need to ensure staff health and safety and to comply with lockdown strictures.
So, instead, the city council will tweet images of the relevant flags on the respective days, and post them on the home page of the council website. For the same reasons, the Guildhall will be illuminated in red, white and blue on Friday night, and with yellow and blue lights on Monday evening (rather than Saturday, again to comply with safety restrictions) as part of the council’s marking of Europe Day.