May 08, 2020

By Gavin Day

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It was on this day in 1945 that the Allies secured the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany.

The day would be called VE Day and sparked massive celebrations in Europe and in North America. While it wouldn’t spell the end of the fighting in the second world war, the end was very near.

“Let us rejoice in the victory for which we have waited for so long and which has been won at so great a price,” announced Prime Minister William Lyon MacKenzie King upon announcing the news of the Nazi surrender. “Our rejoicing, however, would fail to give expression to our true feelings if our first thoughts were not of those who have given their lives that victory on this day might be ours and not our enemies.”

The fighting would continue in the Pacific for another three months. Japan surrendered on August 15th.

Ceremonies around the world to mark the occasion have been suspended. Russia celebrates Victory Day on May 9th but those celebrations have also been put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Canada Post is 75th anniversary by releasing two new stamps honouring Canadians who served at home and abroad during the second world war.

The stamps share the stories of Private Leo Major, a soldier who fought to liberate the Netherlands and Veronica Foster, a factory worker who helped recruit women in the wartime workforce.

More than 42,000 Canadian forces members died in the second world war.

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