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Editor's Viewpoint

Queen's VE Day speech was chance to reflect that many of those most at risk in fight against virus gave their all for us

Editor's Viewpoint


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VE Day: Crowd listening to Prime Minister Winston Churchill's broadcast at Belfast City Hall.  (08/05/1945)

VE Day: Crowd listening to Prime Minister Winston Churchill's broadcast at Belfast City Hall. (08/05/1945)

VE Day: Crowd listening to Prime Minister Winston Churchill's broadcast at Belfast City Hall. (08/05/1945)

The moving scenes on VE Day yesterday were a vivid reminder of the suffering during the Second World War and also a tribute to the heroes who defeated Nazi Germany and gifted us our lives of freedom.

It is important to remember the wartime spirit which brought people through such times.

The scenes in Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK yesterday underlined the communal sense of relief once the war was over. Last night's address by the Queen was symbolic and historic. Speaking at precisely the same time as her father King George VI had done 75 years ago, she remembered the past sacrifices but also paid tribute to the NHS and care workers whose courage would have been admired by those who had fought in the war.

The Queen was uniquely qualified to give such an address. As an ATS member she stood on Buckingham Palace's balcony with her mother and sister, and Sir Winston Churchill, while looking up to her father King George VI. Now, 75 years later, she has been one of the mainstays of the nation during this current crisis, and in her advancing years she brings spirit and solace to a frightened people.

Understandably that fear is greatest among her own generation who are most vulnerable to coronavirus. This week we have noted the harrowing headlines of the toll among our care homes, and our thoughts are with those who mourn and are afraid, and those tasked with the huge responsibility of looking after our elderly people in care homes and elsewhere. As we watched yesterday's celebrations, hopefully many of us paused to reflect that those most at risk are from the generation who gave their all for us.

Maybe that irony will also give thought to those of younger generations who say "Sure it's only the old who are affected by Covid-19" and help to stop those who intend to break lockdown rules. We are still at war against coronavirus, and still we are all in it together. As the Queen said "Never give up, never despair."

Belfast Telegraph