Veterans parade in the park to commemorate Victory in Europe

Hastings and St Leonards Veterans Association paraded flags at the War Memorial in Alexandra Park on Tuesday may 8 to commemorate the 73rd anniversary of VE Day.
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They were joined by the Mayor of Hastings Cllr Judy Rogers and Deputy Mayor, Cllr Nigel Sinden.

VE Day, on May 8 1945 marked Nazi Germany’s unconditional surrender to the Allied Forces.

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A crowd of 50,000 packed into Piccadilly Circus waving flags. A national holiday was declared and there was dancing in the street and singing.

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Richard Butcher, from the Veterans Association, said: “VE-Day (Victory-in-Europe Day) marks when peace was restored to Europe after nearly six long and dangerous years of the Second World War, where so many had lost life, limb and livelihood in the cause of liberty.

“VE-Day has always been a day of both jubilation and mourning, and was reflected in the ceremony.

“In perhaps the last occasion with the Veterans before stepping down, the Mayor repeated that we must always remember the sacrifices that were made, because if we did not, the same could so easily happen again.

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“Also on parade was the veterans’ President, Pam Brown OBE, who as a young ‘Wren’ serving with the Royal Navy in 1945, had taken part in that first VE-Day.

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“She recalled that the impromptu celebrations were aided by similar bright, sunny weather over the whole country.”

Hastings and St Leonards Veterans Association aims to promote veteran issues and celebrate those who served their country.

The Association also plan outings for veterans and is the principle organiser of the annual Armed Forces Day locally.

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The association meet on the first Saturday of every month at 10.30am.

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The Veterans Association play an active role in commemorating and remembering past conflicts and held a special service at Swan gardens in the Old Town in memory of those who lost their lives in a bombing raid in the last war when the Swan Hotel and the Albany Hotel were destroyed.