Marking victory in Europe Day at Impero
7th May 2020
Written by Justin Reilly, CEO at Impero
Allied forces swept to victory in Europe on Tuesday 8th May in 1945, which is 75 years ago this month, setting the foundation for the relative peace and prosperity that the continent enjoys today. While the war went on until August in the Pacific theatre, Victory in Europe (VE) day marked the end of the conflict for the vast majority of British troops and the time for Europeans to turn their focus from bloodshed to rebuilding.
Spontaneous celebrations broke out across the country on VE day – even the Queen (then Princess Elizabeth) and Princess Margaret were spotted out in London. As we mark the day now, it is an opportunity to mark the sacrifices of those who served, the coming together of society to support their efforts and to learn the lessons of the most brutal conflicts in human history so that we may never repeat it. This year, because of the lockdown, in-person VE Day 75 events can’t go ahead, but everyone is still encouraged to take part in celebrations from home. On 8th May, Katherine Jenkins will be singing “We’ll Meet Again” in an empty Royal Albert Hall, introduced by the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan and HM The Queen will also address the nation on BBC1 at 9 pm.
Impero supports ‘Victory in Europe Day’
At Impero, we decided to mark the occasion by partaking in VE DAY 75, a coffee table book produced by SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity. It recounts the events of the day and the celebrations that followed and combines photographs, illustrations, and written accounts to form a unique collection which we are proud to contribute to. The book is available for free and can mark the occasion while we are unable to gather in crowds.
The decision for Impero to take part in this VE Day celebration was also a personal one. My grandfather fought in the war, and while we never met, my dad is very vocal about what he did. I also worked in sub-Saharan Africa for a period of my career. Witnessing what happens in the aftermath of a war-torn country gave me a sense of what people give up in times of war. I am proud to be British, living in a country that is front and centre in education and at the cutting edge of edtech. At Impero, we’re creating safe environments for better learning and protecting children’s future driven by safety and security. That’s what matters.
As Churchill noted before the House of Commons in 1948, “those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it.” As a former teacher, I know that no student can fully learn the lessons of history – let alone receive the innumerable other benefits of education – if their basic needs are unmet or they are at risk of harm. This is why, at Impero, we are committed to supporting teachers in safeguarding the nation’s students: so that they can experience a complete education and the free and open society that our country fought for.
Claim your free copy of VE Day 75 at veday75.net