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Long says we must never forget sacrifice of those who freed Europe, as VE Day commemorated

Alliance Leader Naomi Long MLA has said we must never forget the sacrifice of those who paid the ultimate price in freeing Europe, as the 75th anniversary of VE Day is commemorated.

May 8, 1945 saw the Allied Forces accept the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany, formally bringing to an end hostilities in Europe during World War II. East Belfast MLA Mrs Long paid tribute to veterans who had served in the war, saying we still owed them a debt of gratitude for their bravery and our liberty.

“Our debt to the Allied Forces veterans for their sacrifices to liberate Europe can never be repaid in full. What they experienced and witnessed was, as in all war, horrific. Many who left never returned. Many who returned did so with physical and psychological wounds,” she said.

“Yet, thanks to their actions and their sacrifices, the rise of the far right was halted as the people of Europe united to take on the evils of tyranny and bigotry.  

“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most of the main events planned to commemorate VE Day will unfortunately now not take place. Many will be disappointed they are unable to mark the occasion and pay public tribute those who served.

“However, I believe the most fitting tribute we can pay to those veterans is to recommit to opposing the evils of fascism in all its forms today, as they did then, and to ensuring we value our strong, peaceful relationships with our European friends.”