The Leader of Medway Council, Cllr Alan Jarrett, has issued the following message to residents ahead of VE Day.
Tomorrow, Friday, 8 May, the nation will be marking 75 years since VE Day, when the Second World War came to an end in Europe. Amidst all the furore of the coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having on us all, we should not forget to stop, pause and mark this day that is so important in the history of our nation.
Although we are not able to come together and celebrate as they did 75 years ago, we can, and should, still pay tribute to all those who fought during the Second World War and thank and commemorate those who fought so bravely or lost their lives, including many of our own Medway residents.
Although sadly many of the national commemorations that were planned for the day can no longer take place there are plenty of things that you can do to mark the occasion. We are supporting the Royal British Legion’s two-minute silence at 11am on Friday and I would encourage residents to take part in the UK-wide singalong to Dame Vera Lynn’s ‘We’ll Meet Again’ at 9pm. And with Medway’s very important naval connections we are supporting the Royal Navy’s #ShineALight initiative by lighting up Rochester Castle in blue light and you too can be part of this by shining a light from your mobile phones or torches into the air at 9.30pm.
We’d love to see Medway residents creating colourful window displays to commemorate VE Day with Union Jacks and bunting - families can download a template from the VE Day website. We will also be posting a video about Medway in the Second World War on social media to help children understand, and learn more, about the war.
We would love to see how you are marking VE Day please tag us in your social media posts or use #MedwayTogether.
We are all doing our bit to combat COVID-19
Many people, including our Prime Minister, over recent months have compared our nation’s response to coronavirus with that of a battle, and indeed we are all doing our bit to combat COVID-19 and I would like to once again thank all of you who are working tirelessly on the frontline in the NHS and in our local communities to support our most vulnerable residents. For our part we continue to do all we can to keep services running, and next week from Wednesday, 13 May we will be introducing a new booking system, to allow the progressive reopening of our Household Waste and Recycling Centres from Friday, 15 May.
We are expecting important announcements from government over the next few days as it continues to evaluate how we respond to this crisis. As ever we will keep you fully appraised of changes as they are announced.
We will emerge from this stronger if we all continue to follow the government advice.
I know I speak on behalf of all council staff when I say we look forward to seeing you all again soon and hope that you enjoy a peaceful bank holiday weekend.
Stay home, save lives, stay safe.
Cllr Alan Jarrett