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Lord Lieutenant of Banffshire pays tribute on VE Day

By Kyle Ritchie

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Lord Lieutenant of Banffshire Andrew Simpson has paid tribute on the 75th anniversary of VE Day to those who lost their lives in World War II.

Mr Simpson, who lives in Macduff, paid his respects at Banff War Memorial, the memorial bench in the grounds of Duff House and the memorial to those killed in the bombing at the Georgian mansion.

He also phoned members of the Royal British Legion around Banffshire and other veterans of the conflict.

Lord Lieutenant of Banffshire Andrew Simpson paid tribute at a number of war memorials, including in the grounds of Duff House in Banff.
Lord Lieutenant of Banffshire Andrew Simpson paid tribute at a number of war memorials, including in the grounds of Duff House in Banff.

He said: "Most were of school age in 1945, but I was able to hear their memories of the day or of their parents involvement in the war.

"The 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day will not be marked in ways that had been planned.

"There will be no marches of veterans, no gatherings, no streets parties, and on Saturday as Lord Lieutenant of Banffshire there will be no celebrations in Glenlivet Hall to attend.

"But the day must not pass unnoticed.

"Tens of millions of people lost their lives or were injured in the horrors of war. Countless numbers were made homeless.

"On the many war memorials across Banffshire the names of local men and women who died are recorded never to be forgotten.

"Today Colonel Tom Moore represents those who still live with memories of 75 years ago.

"Many of us can remember stories told by members of our own families, who contributed to the efforts of 1939 to 1945.

"Their sacrifice has led to the deliverance from the evil of Nazism and helped secure freedom for the generations that followed. For us.

"Winston Churchill addressing the nation spoke then about taking a day off to celebrate.

"The Japanese forces were still to be defeated, food chains had to be restored, industry and houses needed rebuilt, rationing would not end until the 1950s, but he recognised the need to celebrate the victory achieved against the odds by the commitment of so many.

"Today, in 21st century Banffshire, we can stop and do the same. We can show our thankfulness to those who gave so much.

"There will be bunting in some houses, a two-minute silence was held at 11am, at 3pm some will raise glasses in a toast and bagpipes might be heard.

"Social distance cups of tea can be shared. Even a few weeks ago we could not have imagined that the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe would be taking place against the background of a new crisis. A crisis that has also impacted on the whole world.

"The heroism, the selfless sacrifice, the faith and creativity that was evident in the 1940s can inspire us once more.

"The spirit that built a world from the destruction of the Second World War can still teach and inspire us.

"On the eighth of May 1945 the Queen, as Princess Elizabeth, slipped out of Buckingham Palace and joined the crowds in their celebrations. Exactly 75 years later, and at the same time of day that her father King George VI spoke to the nation, Her Majesty the Queen will address our generation.

"That moment will be followed by a singalong inspired by the legend that is Vera Lynn.

"Both looking back and looking forward, what better words can their be to capture thankfulness and hope than to sing together – We'll meet again."

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