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Reflections on VE Day 2020
There's no assembly this morning but you can watch a very old speech below and reflect on it together.
Over 380,000 British soldiers died in World War 2 and over 65,000 civilians. On the day that victory in Europe was announced, King George VI reminded people what this 'suffering and peril' had been for:
"With those memories in our minds, let us think what it was that has upheld us through nearly six years of suffering and peril. The knowledge that everything was at stake: our freedom, our independence, our very existence as a people; but the knowledge also that in defending ourselves we were defending the liberties of the whole world; that our cause was the cause not of this nation only, not of this Empire and Commonwealth only, but of every land where freedom is cherished and law and liberty go hand in hand."
Winston Churchill, the Prime Minister, also spoke to the nation, and then added a particular address to the House of Commons:
We have all of us made our mistakes, but the strength of the Parliamentary institution has been shown to enable it at the same moment to preserve all the title-deeds of democracy while waging war in the most stern and protracted form.
Public service is a privilege and a responsibility. Churchill's speech to the nation on VE Day reminds us of everyone's role in protecting democracy and that preserving our freedom always has a price:
I say that in the long years to come not only will the people of this island but of the world, wherever the bird of freedom chirps in human hearts, look back to what we've done and they will say "do not despair, do not yield to violence and tyranny, march straightforward and die if need be - unconquered."
In the next post, you'll find some activities you can do together as you celebrate this day. But as you do them, you could discuss together, 'why is the bird of freedom so important?'