Manchester to commemorate 70th anniversary of VE day with two-minute silence

The firing of a maroon from Manchester Town Hall will start and end a two-minute silence across the city to commemorate the 70th anniversary of VE Day at 3pm this afternoon.

Manchester Cathedral will then hold a service at 9pm before joining more than 200 locations throughout the United Kingdom, Channel Islands and Isle of Man in lighting a beacon at 9.32pm.

Lord Mayor of Manchester, Councillor Sue Cooley, said: “VE Day was the end of one of the darkest periods in history and this anniversary is a time to reflect on just how much was sacrificed by so many for our freedom.

“While we remember the end of one of the most destructive wars in history I’d also like to ask everyone to spare a thought for all those affected by the many conflicts that still rage across the globe today.”

The Queen will light the Principal Beacon at Windsor Castle, followed by two further Beacons being lit along the Long Walk in Windsor Great Park to mark the important milestone.

Bruno Peek LVO OBE OPR, Pageantmaster of the VE Day 70th Anniversary Beacons said: “It was on this day, 70 years ago, that peace brought an end to nearly six years of war across Europe.

“We must not let this day pass without reflecting on the sacrifice, courage and determination of the people who saw us through this dark period. 

“It’s therefore fitting that we should celebrate with the veterans and their families and commemorate this historic anniversary once more.”

Image courtesy of LibraryArchives via FlickR, with thanks.

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