This Friday (8 May) the Edge Hill University community will join Britain in commemorating the 75th anniversary of VE Day when the guns fell silent at the end of the war in Europe.
The main building on the Ormskirk campus will be lit up in the Union Jack colours of red, white and blue, and students, staff and alumni will join a virtual Nation’s Toast to the heroes of World War Two at 3pm.
Due to the coronavirus restrictions, most VE Day 75 events and street parties have been cancelled or postponed but the Edge Hill community is being encouraged to share their pride and honour the men and women of WW2 in creative ways.
Staff and students have been busy making their own special ‘Great British Bunting’ to display in their windows at home.
And they have also been encouraged to record their everyday lives by keeping diaries, just like people did during the war, and to recreate some of Imperial War Museums’ famous historical images associated with WW2, while observing social distancing: www.iwm.org.uk/history/10-photos-of-ve-day-celebrations
Senior Lecturer in History Roger Spalding, also an expert on the Second World War, said: “The British people were mobilised on a scale never before seen during the Second World War: women for example operated complex engineering tools, worked as anti-aircraft gun crews and flew Spitfires as delivery pilots in the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF).
“This huge collective effort is the reason why some historians see this as a People’s War. It is not surprising that commentators, including the distinguished historian, Lord Peter Hennessy, have drawn comparisons with the war and the sense of national unity in the current crisis.
“The war was also a transformative experience: out of the shared experiences of war came a commitment to build a new and better Britain.
“This was the genesis of the welfare state at the heart of which was the NHS, formally established in 1948.
“Collective endeavour and this much-prized product of war will see us through yet another time of trial.
“I would encourage everyone to join the nation as we mark such a poignant moment in history.”
Hang your bunting with pride over the weekend of 8-10 May and make sure you share your pictures and videos of how you may be celebrating VE Day using the hashtag #EHUVEDay75.
To find out more about studying history at Edge Hill, visit www.edgehill.ac.uk/courses/history