LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM – The 75th Commemoration of ‘Victory in Europe Day’ (VE Day) was celebrated today with several flypasts over 4 cities in the United Kingdom – London, Edinburgh, Belfast and Cardiff. The Royal Air Force Display Team ‘The Red Arrows’ performed a beautiful flypast over London, while 2 RAF Typhoon fighter jets also performed flypasts over Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast this morning. The RAF Music Services also produced a special video earlier this week to honor all the heroes of WWII.
75 Years of Freedom in Europe
This week in Europe, we commemorate and thank those who gave so much for our freedom. On May 8, 1945 – VE Day – Nazi commanders signed their surrender to Allied forces in a French schoolhouse, bringing World War II in Europe to an end.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the United Kingdom has united to mark the 75th anniversary of ‘Victory in Europe Day’, remembering those who fought and died in the Second World War.
Flypasts over the UK
The RAF Display Team ‘The Red Arrows’ colored the skies above London red, white and blue to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day. The Red Arrows performed the aerial tribute over central London shortly after 10:00 AM (GMT) this morning.
The team’s 9 distinctive Hawk jets trailed their signature colors over the capital for the VE Day anniversary.
“Today we commemorate the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe, a day that signifies the end of one of the darkest periods in world history,” Red 1 – Squadron Leader Martin Pert said to raf.mod.uk.
“The RAF is proud of its history and tradition – a legacy that has been forged through the actions of our forebears, who valiantly defended our nation, our lives and our freedom during the Second World War.”
“As part of that, we remember those lost and say thank you to the Greatest Generation for their resilience and determination, aiming to honor and continue the legacy of all those who have gone before us.”
While the team flew from east to west, the Red Arrows flew over central London in pretty good weather, before passing the Runnymede Air Forces Memorial to commemorate the 75th anniversary of VE Day.
The memorial commemorates more than 20,000 brave Commonwealth servicemen and women of the flying services who died during the Second World War and have no known grave.
Squadron Leader Pert added: “It’s always a privilege to fly over the capital city and an absolute honor to be the national flag carrier – with the red, white and blue colors helping to commemorate such a significant day.”
In addition to the Red Arrows’ flypast over London, 2 RAF Typhoon fighter jets appeared in the skies above Belfast, Cardiff and Edinburgh this morning – lifting the nation’s spirits – as part of VE Day 75 activities.
RAF Music Services Video
For the 75th Anniversary of Victory in Europe, RAF Music Services have produced an emotional video earlier this week, called ‘Hymn to the Fallen’, which was composed by John Williams in 1998 for the film ‘Saving Private Ryan’. The orchestra was joined by The National Youth Choirs of Great Britain.
RAF Music Services provides musical support for the Royal Air Force to enhance public perception, support State Ceremonial events and achieve influence to further Defence and National interests. They do this by performing at over 900 events throughout the year both in the UK and overseas.
From the concert stage to operational theatres around the globe Royal Air Force Musicians perform to the highest traditions of the Service in whichever role they are asked to fulfill.
Based at RAF Northolt (previously at RAF Uxbridge) and RAF Cranwell, it forms the central administration of 170 musicians divided between The Central Band of the Royal Air Force, The Band of the Royal Air Force College, The Band of the Royal Air Force Regiment, The Royal Air Force Salon Orchestra and Headquarters Music Services.
The RAF Music Services’ current Principal Director of Music is Wing Commander Piers Morrell.
(Head photo: GOV.UK)