VE Day 75th anniversary: What time is the two-minute silence?

7 May 2020, 15:10

File photo: Red Arrows flying over Horse Guards Parade during the VE Day Parade to mark the 70th anniversary of VE Day
File photo: Red Arrows flying over Horse Guards Parade during the VE Day Parade to mark the 70th anniversary of VE Day. Picture: PA

By Megan White

People across the UK will come together for a two-minute silence to commemorate VE Day on Friday.

May 8 will mark 75 years since Victory in Europe Day, which commemorates the formal acceptance by the Allies of World War II of Nazi Germany's unconditional surrender of its armed forces.

Events will take place across the country to mark the anniversary, including socially-distanced street parties and a speech from the Queen.

But when is the two-minute silence and why do we have it?

When is the two-minute silence?

A two-minute silence will be held on Friday 8 May at 11am.

Why do we have a two-minute silence?

The first two-minute silence was observed on Armistice Day on 11 November 1919 to remember soldiers who had died in the First World War.

They now take place every Remembrance Day to commemorate soldiers who have lost their lives in conflicts across the world.

The Royal British Legion said: “At 11am, we're encouraging people across all generations and communities to take part in a national moment of Remembrance and pause for a Two Minute Silence to honour the service and sacrifice of the Second World War generation and reflect on the devastating impact Covid-19 has had on so many lives across the world.

“There is no right or wrong way to take part in the Silence, some may wish to stand at their windows, step outside their homes while remaining distanced from others, watch the broadcast on television, or simply sit in a quiet moment of reflection.”

What else is happening on VE Day?

- 11.15am: The nation is invited to join in with the Royal British Legion's (RBL) VE Day 75 Livestream.

Grab a cup of tea and tune in as the generations of the Second World War and today are brought together to chat about their shared experiences.

Hosted by TV presenter Sonali Shah, the 45-minute programme will feature stories from those who served and sacrificed, as well as recognising the difficulties people are experiencing today.

- 3pm: The Nation's Toast to the Heroes of World War Two. Take part by raising a glass, cheering and clapping on your doorsteps and saying: "To those who gave so much, we thank you."

- 9pm: A pre-recorded address by the Queen will be broadcast at the exact moment her father, King George VI, gave a radio address on May 8 1945.

- 9pm: Fancy a sing-along? After the Queen's address, the nation is invited to come together in a rendition of Vera Lynn's We'll Meet Again on BBC One.

There are also dozens of regional events taking place, which you can find out about here.