Full info on VE Day: What is VE day date, when is VE day and why we celebrate the day

What is VE Day

Crowds in New York celebrate VE-Day marking the German surrender in World war two. (Photo by Universal History Archive/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

 What is VE Day – or ‘Victory in Europe Day’ ? The day was the day marked as the day towards the end of World War Two (WW2). When is the day? It is the day fighting against Nazi Germany in Europe came to an end.

On 8 May 1945, Prime Minister Winston Churchill made an announcement on the radio at around 3pm that the war in Europe known as world war two had come to an end, following Germany’s surrender the day before.

How was VE Day celebrated?

As at the beginning of 1945, the German army who were going for the war had been weakened and had defeat look on them already.

Tuesday 8 May, 1945, was like the most emotional day which millions of people had been waiting for to come to pass.

Many people were extremely excited that the fights had stopped and there were big celebrations and street parties.

Huge crowds with lots of people dressed in red, white and blue – gathered outside Buckingham Palace in London.

They cheered as King George VI and his family, including Princess Elizabeth (the current queen) and Princess Margaret, came out onto the balcony to greet everybody.

Princess Elizabeth and her sister were allowed to leave the palace and celebrate with crowds outside, although they had to do it secretly to be safe.

The future Queen described it as “one of the most memorable nights of my life”.

Many people also attended church services to thank God for the victory.

London’s St Paul’s Cathedral held 10 services, which were attended by thousands of people.

But VE Day was also a moment of great sadness and reflection, as millions of people had lost their lives or loved ones in the conflict which had happened.

Many had to continue fighting in other battles and lots of people were being kept as prisoners of war abroad.

Was VE Day the end of World War Two?

Even though VE Day marked victory for Europe over Germany, it did not mark the end of World War Two at all.

In his VE Day announcement, Winston Churchill said: “We may allow ourselves a brief period of rejoicing, but let us not forget for a moment the toil and efforts that lie ahead.”

Even after 8 May, many soldiers, sailors and pilots were sent to the east to fight against the Japanese, who had not yet surrendered.

This came on 14 August 1945, after two atomic bombs were dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima (6 August) and Nagasaki (9 August).

On 15 August 1945, the allies had officially defeated Japan. This date is known as VJ Day.

World War Two was finally over.

What happened after World War Two?

While the war was over, it was not the end of hardship.

Millions of people had lost loved ones and their lives had been turned upside down by the fighting.

The nation had to rebuild as the war had been so expensive. Clothing and food rationing remained in place.

By the end of WW2, the foundations had also been laid for something called the Cold War, which also lasted until December 1991.

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