Today is VE  Day, a day of remembrance, the day that commemorates the end of World War II, specifically in Europe.  Victory in Europe Day, generally referred to as VE Day, was the public holiday celebrated on May 8th, 1945 to mark the formal acceptance by the World War II allies of Germany’s unconditional surrender of its armed forces.  However, the formal surrender of the German forces that occupied the Channel Islands didn’t occur until the following day.


Field Marshall Keitel signing the final surrender terms, May 8, 1945


Upon the defeat of Germany, celebrations erupted throughout the world.  In the United Kingdom, more than a million people celebrated in the streets to mark the end of the European part of the war.  In London, crowds massed in Trafalgar Square, up the Mall to Buckingham Palace, where King George VI, Queen Elizabeth, and Prime Minister Winston Churchill appeared on the balcony before the crowds.


People dancing in the streets of London, May 8, 1945 (photo credit BBC)



Dancing in Piccadilly Circus (photo credit BBC)



Churchill waving to the crowds, Whitehall, London, on the day he confirmed the war with Germany was over