Today marks 75 years from Victory in Europe day. Considering this year’s situation with the coronavirus imposed lockdown, despite the glorious weather, celebrations are much more low key. It must be a stark contrast to 75 years ago, where the whole of Europe was on the streets, excitedly celebrating the end of World War 2.
It seems strange to think that after such a tremendous, destructive and life altering period, after so many privations and losses, people, with their grief fresh, would still pour out in celebration. All things however, no matter how terrible, some day come to an end and life resumes.
It may be useful to reflect that by comparison we have a lot of things that weren’t present then. We certainly did not starve, quite the contrary perhaps! We have not seen fighting and senseless killings.
Yes there have been losses. To some this pandemic meant loss of loved ones and being unable to be near those we have wanted. It meant being unable to share birthdays or offer a comforting hug. It meant financial loss. It meant changes to life, struggle to make sense, uncertainty.
Yet perhaps this has also brought us closer together. Once again, even though we’re far apart, we’ve come together, all over the world, to encourage each other. Not forgetting that, unlike 75 years ago, we have digital communications at the ready, so we are able to see and hear each other at the press of a button for as long as we like.
As Winston Churchill had said, “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” And yet, according to at least one anecdote, even he had been heckled during a walk through war torn London by someone who had suffered losses from that terrible war.
We have lost some things, hopefully we have also found other things, one of them being appreciation of what we have and the strength of being close, no matter how far.
Today, as we celebrate the endurance of the human spirit, as lockdown is scheduled to ease, we can look ahead to resuming life again. Maybe not too long from now, there will be street parties, public events, holidays and the dreaded, sought-for routine will resume.
It could well be that there will be a day to commemorate that we overcame yet another demanding situation and we all did this together.
We’re going the right way. All we need to do is to keep going.
There are some VE day celebrations available to view online or on the TV. To find out more, take a look at these articles.