The Queen paid emotional tribute to the locking spirit of Britain this evening with an electrifying speech on the 75th anniversary of Victory Day.
I’m talking to you today at the same time as my father, exactly 75 years ago.
His message was then a tribute to the men and women of the country and abroad who had sacrificed so much to pursue what he rightly called a “great deliverance”.
The war had been a total war; it had touched everyone and no one was immune to its impact.
Let it be the men and women called to serve; families separated from each other; or people asked to take on new roles and skills to support the war effort, all had a role to play.
At first, the outlook seemed bleak, the end far away, the outcome uncertain.
But we kept the faith that the cause was right – and that belief, as my father noted on his show, won the day.
Never give up, never despair – that was the message of VE Day.
I remember very well the jubilant scenes that my sister and I saw with our parents and Winston Churchill from the balcony of Buckingham Palace.
The feeling of joy in the crowds that gathered outside and across the country was deep, although as we celebrated the victory in Europe, we knew there would be new sacrifices.
It was not until August that fighting in the Far East ceased and the war finally ended.
Many people have sacrificed their lives in this terrible conflict.
They fought so that we could live in peace, at home and abroad.
They died so that we could live as a free people in a world of free nations.
They risked everything to keep our families and our neighborhoods safe.
We must and we will remember them.
As I reflect now on my father’s words and the joyous celebrations that some of us have experienced firsthand, I am grateful for the strength and courage shown by the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth and all of our allies. .
The wartime generation knew that the best way to honor those who did not return from war was to make sure it did not happen again.
The greatest tribute to their sacrifice is that countries that were once sworn enemies are now friends, working side by side for the peace, health and prosperity of all of us.
Today, it may seem difficult not to be able to celebrate this special anniversary as we would like.
Instead, we remember our homes and our doors.
But our streets are not empty; they are filled with the love and care we have for each other.
And when I look at our country today and see what we are ready to do to protect and support each other, I say with pride that we are still a nation that these brave soldiers, sailors and airmen would recognize and admire.
I send you all my best wishes.