Raising a toast to heroes on VE Day's 75th anniversary
PUBLISHED: 06:30 08 July 2019 | UPDATED: 07:56 08 July 2019
May 8, 1945, is a day that will never be forgotten as it marked the surrender of Nazi Germany.
On the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe (VE) Day we are encouraging people to raise a toast to those who made the ultimate sacrifice during the Second World War.
In ten months' time on Friday, May 8, 2020, at 3pm, we want people around the county to raise a glass to our war heroes.
The Nation's Toast, an initiative created by Bruno Peek, pageant master of VE Day 75, aims to get everybody around the world, but in particular those in the UK involved in the day's celebrations in some way.
"It's a simple but totally unique way to remember the war heroes of the Second World War," Mr Peek said.
"Everyone can get involved in some way and there should be no excuse for pubs not to take part in the Nation's Toast.
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"We've already had a lot of interest not just nationally but worldwide as well which has been great."
Other tributes on the day will include an international performance of Battle's O'er and a number of church services. Mr Peek - who has already overseen a number of landmark anniversaries including the Queen's Golden Jubilee, her Diamond Jubilee and a number of World War tributes - said the VE Day events had been 18 months in the planning.
The 68-year-old has called on the county to lead the way in its commemorations, urging every borough, city, district and parish council to grasp the opportunity to celebrate our freedom.
He said: "It is so important we remember not only the war heroes but the women who were left behind working in the factories and as nurses.
"The great thing about the Nation's Toast is that everyone can play their part and can have a refreshment of their choice."
Mr Peek and his wife Moira have also sponsored four silver-plated bugles which will be taken to the four highest peaks in the UK - Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike, Snowdon and Slieve Donard - to allow army and sea cadet members to play the Last Post on the day.
Those taking part in celebrations of any kind should visit www.veday75.org to register their participation.