World / Europe

London to stage victory light show to mark end of World War II

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-05-04 19:02

LONDON - Two of London's iconic buildings and Trafalgar Square, the capital's famous gathering place, will be illuminated with giant projected V-for-Victory signs this week.

The light show will form part of Britain's celebrations to make the 70th anniversary of the end in Europe of World War II.

During celebrations in May 1945 the Houses of Parliament and St Paul's Cathedral, as well as buildings around Trafalgar Square, were illuminated as tens of thousands of people crowded the capital.

From May 8 those same locations will again enjoy a special light show.

A spokesman for Britain's Ministry of Defence said: "In 1945 Trafalgar Square, St Paul's Cathedral and the Houses of Parliament were floodlit and beginning on Friday (May 8) they will be lit up again with special V-shaped lights. It will be possible to see the lights on Friday from 9.30pm to midnight (local time) and on Saturday and Sunday from 8.30pm - midnight."

Three days of events in London and across the UK start Friday to mark the historic anniversary of end of the Second World War in Europe, including beacon-lighting events, parades, and street parties.

On Friday, the official VE Day, a Service of Remembrance will be held at the Cenotaph in Whitehall, the national memorial to service people who have lost their lives in all wars and conflicts.

During the service there will be a national two-minute silence to mark the moment when war-time Prime Minister Winston Churchill broadcast in 1945 his historic speech formally announcing the end of the war. Members of the public are being invited to mark the two-minute silence wherever they are.

On Saturday evening (May 9) thousands of people will attend a Royal British Legion concert at the Horse Guards Parade Ground, the large open space behind Whitehall. The star-studded 1940s themed "Party to Remember" will feature performances from entertainers, including the band Status Quo, pop singer Pixie Lott and opera singer Katherine Jenkins.

The celebrations take on a solemn theme on May 10 with a Service of Thanksgiving at Westminster Abbey, attended by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh. Heir to the British throne, the Prince of Wales and his wife the Duchess of Cornwall will also be there along with other members of the Royal Family. Also present will be 1,000 World War II veterans and their families. Representatives of allied nations and Commonwealth countries who fought alongside Britain in the conflict will also attend.

The service will end with a VE Day parade from London's Parliament Square and along Whitehall. During the parade there will be a flypast over central London by iconic World War II warplanes, the Lancaster bomber and fighter-planes, the Spitfire and Hurricane. They will be followed by the world famous Royal Air Force display team, the Red Arrows.

Trudeau visits Sina Weibo
May gets little gasp as EU extends deadline for sufficient progress in Brexit talks
Ethiopian FM urges strengthened Ethiopia-China ties
Yemen's ex-president Saleh, relatives killed by Houthis
Most Popular
Hot Topics