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How Churchill's message and VE Day photos still hold relevance today

by Keesha Mahurin (2020-05-31)

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Evocative images of Britons celebrating victory over Nazi Germany have reemerged in the leadup up to 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day. 

As the country reveled in triumph on May 8, 1945, the streets of London were packed with overjoyed Britons weary from six years of war with the Axis powers in Europe. 

Crowds gathered outside the gates of Buckingham Palace as the King and Queen appeared on the palace balcony, along with Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret. 

Elated Britons were pictured celebrating in Trafalgar Square as a message on Nelson's Column read: 'Victory over Germany, 1945... Give thanks by saving'.

Less than a year before, thousands of soldiers stormed the beaches of Normandy on June 6, 1944, D-Day. 

Young men in military uniform joined young women arm-in-arm as they danced and sang down Fleet Street, with their jubilant countrymen waving union flags in triumphant celebration. 

Prince Minister Winston Churchill announced the end of the War in Europe from Downing Street, also taking the time to remind the country war was still ongoing in the Pacific.

He said: 'We may allow ourselves a brief period of rejoicing, but let us not forget for a moment the toils and efforts that lie ahead'. 

Coronavirus-hit Britons in 2020 will still be celebrating victory over the Axis - but the streets of London will likely be far less jubilant by comparison as the country endures lockdown as we fight the pandemic, with Churchill's message of remaining vigilant remaining seemingly ever-relevant. 








Crowds gathered outside the gates of Buckingham Palace as the King and Queen appeared on the palace balcony, along with Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret










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Elated Britons were pictured celebrating in Trafalgar Square as a message on Nelson's Column read: 'Victory over Germany, bắc kinh thượng hải 1945... Give thanks by saving' (pictured right: In more recent times)







Young men in military uniform joined young women arm-in-arm as they danced and sang down Fleet Street, with their jubilant countrymen waving union flags in triumphant celebration







Jubilant crowds at Piccadilly Circus, London celebrating victory in Europe on May 8, 1945. Evocative images of Britons celebrating victory over Nazi Germany have reemerged in the leadup up to 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day







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Left, May 8, 1945: Crowds gather outside Buckingham Palace on VE Day, in the hope of seeing the King. As the country reveled in triumph, the streets of London were packed with overjoyed Britons weary from six years of war with the Axis powers in Europe. Right: In more recent times







View of revellers, including local young men and women along with soldiers and sailors from Britain's armed forces, celebrating on top of a lorry as it makes its way through Parliament Square in London on VE Day







Crowds celebrating VE Day, Buckingham Palace, May 8, 1945. Thousands of Londoners outside Buckingham Palace celebrate Victory in Europe towards the end of the Second World War







Crowds cheering Winston Churchill as he appeared on the balcony of the Ministry of Health in Whitehall, and made an official announcement that the war in Europe was over. Mr Churchill announced the end of the War in Europe from Downing Street, tour bắc kinh thượng hải but took the time to remind the country war was still ongoing in the Pacific







Crowds gathered in Whitehall as Britain declared victory over Nazi Germany on May 8, 1945, after a grueling six-year struggle










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A young woman and a sailor appear to have slept out in Trafalgar Square in preparation for the VE Day celebrations. While she prepares her hair, he washes in the fountain, his uniform and flag crisply folded at his side (right: the fountain more recently)










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Left: Some of the huge crowd gathered near Canada Gate at Green Park near Buckingham Palace for the celebrations, May 8, 1945. Right: In lockdown Britain, 2020







As Britain celebrated victory in Europe, Prime Minister Winston Churchill said: 'We may allow ourselves a brief period of rejoicing, but let us not forget for a moment the toils and efforts that lie ahead'. Pictured: Crowds gather outside the Palace of Westminster as the country looks forward to an end of hostilities 

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