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Northern Ireland residents find novel ways to mark VE Day

Two RAF Typhoon jets roared across the Belfast sky to mark VE Day.

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Connor Corry and his daughter Eden Corry, six, take part in one of many socially distanced street parties around Belfast’s Shankill Road to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day.

Connor Corry and his daughter Eden Corry, six, take part in one of many socially distanced street parties around Belfast’s Shankill Road to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day.

Connor Corry and his daughter Eden Corry, six, take part in one of many socially distanced street parties around Belfast’s Shankill Road to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day.

Communities across Northern Ireland have found novel ways to celebrate the 75th anniversary of VE Day through social distancing street parties and virtual celebrations.

Members of the public ventured outside to see two RAF Typhoon jets roar across the Belfast sky to mark VE Day.

The jets flew over different parts of Belfast and Stormont.

Despite most commemorative events being held online, celebrations continued in different parts of Northern Ireland with social distancing measures in place because of Covid-19.

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Two RAF Typhoons perform a flypast over The Titanic slipway in Belfast (Niall Carson/PA)

Two RAF Typhoons perform a flypast over The Titanic slipway in Belfast (Niall Carson/PA)

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Two RAF Typhoons perform a flypast over The Titanic slipway in Belfast (Niall Carson/PA)

Many councils asked people to decorate their homes, don their party outfits and wave flags to pay tribute to those who served in the Second World War.

Teddy Dixon, a 100-year-old Second World War veteran from Belfast, recorded an online message to mark VE Day as people across the city and beyond joined the Nation’s Toast to thank those who served and those on the frontline against Covid-19.

Mr Dixon said: “On this, the 75th anniversary of VE Day, I would like to remember those who served and those who are on the frontline today in the fight against Covid-19.

“All those who gave us so much, we thank you.”

Meanwhile, Belfast resident Julie Stockman joined friends and neighbours in Shankill to mark the historic day.

“I just to think we have to remember the people who fought in the wars so they could give us the life we have now,” she added.

“Many in the Shankill had grandfathers who were maybe prisoners of war and and won medals, so it’s just to say thank you and for giving us our future.

“I think it’s because the Twelfth parades have been cancelled we put a bit more effort into VE Day than we would have to still embrace our culture.

“Today is not about party politics, it’s about remembering the war and people who fought in it.

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Julie Stockman takes part in one of many socially distanced street parties around Belfast’s Shankill Road to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day (PA)

Julie Stockman takes part in one of many socially distanced street parties around Belfast’s Shankill Road to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day (PA)

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Julie Stockman takes part in one of many socially distanced street parties around Belfast’s Shankill Road to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day (PA)

“We are all taking social distancing and in our own gardens. A few are having BBQs and there will be a DJ and then we will have a tea party and end with the Vera Lynn song, We’ll Meet Again.”

Belfast man Graham Bell has family members who fought in the Second World War.

He added: “A lot of my family members are ex-military so it’s important to remember them and the sacrifices they made.

“This year is very different – we usually have bouncy castles and it’s more of a gathering for friends and family. But this year we are all in our gardens and everyone has their hand sanitisers on and we are taking precautions so we are being careful.”

Elsewhere, Enniskillen Castle has been illuminated red as a symbol of remembrance by Fermanagh and Omagh District Council.

Similar to 1945, two beams of light have been projected into the night sky over Enniskillen to symbolically form a V for victory, between Thursday to Saturday.

On Thursday night, a Second World War siren was heard over Enniskillen to coincide with the clap for carers while on Friday afternoon it was dedicated to all those who made sacrifices during the war.

DUP leader Arlene Foster said: “Today many people across Northern Ireland are marking VE Day at home, perhaps by taking part in a minute’s silence, joining with others online or simply having a chat on the phone with family or friends.

“These acts of remembrance are all the more poignant as we go through our own significant event in world history.

“Sacrifices are being made again at home and on the health frontline but as we remember these, we should take comfort from the knowledge that this too will end and we will get through this together.”

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