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Perthshire parliamentarians have welcomed plans by Legion Scotland and Poppyscotland, in partnership with the Scottish Government, for an online commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of VE Day.

The 8th May 2020 marks 75 years since the guns fell silent and the Second World War in Europe came to an end.

More than 100 Second World War veterans were set to take centre stage as the Nation paused to remember the generation that sacrificed so much. Unfortunately, the Covid-19 pandemic has meant these events have had to be postponed but, nevertheless, efforts are being made to ensure that VE Day 75 is still appropriately marked across the country, despite the lockdown restrictions.

A virtual service of remembrance will be broadcast live from the Legion Scotland Facebook page at 10:40 am on Friday 8th May. The service will be conducted by Legion Scotland Padre Rev Dr Karen Campbell and will include a two-minute silence at 11 am. The service will then be followed at midday with an hour-long VE Day virtual tribute concert. The programme will include performances, reading and messages from a host of celebrities and performers.

Ms Roseanna Cunningham MSP said:

“While not forgetting that many of our armed forces were still fighting and dying in the east, Victory in Europe Day marked the beginning of the end of the Second World War and it is absolutely right that we should mark and celebrate this milestone anniversary of the defeat of fascism and the return of peace.

“I remember very well the parade through Perth marking the 50th Anniversary of VE Day – it happened right in the middle of the campaign period running up to the by-election at which I was first elected and can hardly believe that was 25 years ago. 

“It is a real shame that this year’s planned commemorations – like so many other events – have had to be cancelled but I am sure that the online replacement will be a fitting tribute to a generation who gave so much.”

Mr John Swinney MSP, Member of the Scottish Parliament for the Perthshire North constituency, added:

“The 75th anniversary of VE Day is an occasion that will inspire happiness, as well as a profound sense of sadness at the pain and suffering almost six years of war inflicted upon the continent.

“On such a milestone, it is right that we pause to reflect on the bravery and sacrifices made by those who came before us in order to secure the freedoms our society enjoys to this day.

“It is deeply regrettable that our current situation means we are not able to commemorate this anniversary more fully, but I am sure that the thoughts of those across the country will be with those who gave up so much of themselves for a greater purpose.”

Mr Pete Wishart MP, Member of Parliament for Perth & North Perthshire, continued:

“I understand how difficult it will be at the moment for all those who had made plans to commemorate the 75th anniversary of VE Day in person, but I am hopeful that many will be able to engage with the digital commemoration organised by Legion Scotland and Poppyscotland in collaboration with The Scottish Government.

“It is absolutely vital that we mark this important anniversary and remember the return to peace and the defeat of fascism on the European Continent.” 

Mr John Nicolson MP, Member of Parliament for Ochil & South Perthshire, concluded:

"VE Day 75 years ago marked the defeat of fascism in Europe, and we are right to celebrate it, and the bravery and sacrifice which brought it about. 

“News footage from the time shows people rejoicing. But for many families, deep in mourning, it was a day when they thought of loved ones who would never return home. My own family had lost my Grandpa John George Stant, killed by a bomb at the shipyard where he worked during the Clydeside Blitz.

“Nor did the day mark the liberation of all of Europe. A post-War ‘Iron Curtain’ was soon to fall, holding captive the peoples of central and eastern Europe under brutal totalitarian regimes which used terror, starvation and murder to repress their populations for a further fifty years.

“Europe is now the most peaceful it’s been in its history. We honour those who made this possible. And we salute the brave veterans still living amongst us: Thank you for all that you did."

Roseanna Cunningham MSP, 63 Glasgow Road, Perth PH2 0PE  •  01738 620540   •   Website designed & hosted by Craig Mackay Design