Celebrations marking the end of World War II on hold due to COVID-19

Celebrations marking the end of World War II on hold due to COVID-19
WatchAs we battle COVID-19, it's the anniversary of the end of another major battle nears. The 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe day is this coming Friday. But even though celebrations are on hold due to the pandemic, veterans say it's important to remember the sacrifices made. Julian Kolsut has this story.

Friday marks the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day — the day the Second World War came to an end.

But the celebrations across Canada have been put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Charles Goodman, 94, is a Second World War veteran living in Sidney.

He was supposed to be back in Holland for the special milestone but is stuck at home.

“My regiment, the south Saskatchewan regiment, liberated a concentration camp in Holland . . . saved a lot of lives,” he said.

“It was a great relief,” he said about the war’s end.

Goodman was supposed to go back to that very concentration camp.

The Town of Sidney has spent the past year getting ready for the big anniversary.

Tulips were planted,and banners raised.

“We planned a parade with our military, veterans would be in attendance, some veterans would still be marching,” said Kenny Podmore, the Town Crier and one of the organizers.

“We had a flypast with 443 Maritime Helicopter Squadron, we had arranged a victory dinner dance a 40’s style hanger dance with veterans.”

Sidney has postponed the events to 2021.

It’s was a tough call because it’s a day to celebrate the sacrifice, and Canada’s WWII heroes are aging.

“Seems sad, that we have to wait for that,” said Goodman.

But many hope that in a year’s time the anniversary can get the celebration it deserves.

But in the meantime, Sidney has a plan.

“Town criers throughout the world at 11 a.m. their time wherever that may be will be doing proclamation,” said Podmore. “It’s a cry of peace, a beautiful cry, which has been written especially for us. I will be doing that on May 8. It will be a very small flag party with a bugler, and a piper.”

The private event will be recorded and put on the town’s website.

Many say that the day can still be observed, by accessing resources online about the war and the victory.

Goodman hopes to attend the celebrations next year in the Netherlands.

After the war he stayed in the army and went on to fight in the Korean war, and serve on peacekeeping missions.

He gave some advice about dealing with the pandemic.

“I’m not scared or worried. Neither. I think we are all okay,” he said.

“The advice I would give as a soldier, or as an airman or as a naval . . . do as your told, and do the best you can.”

Julian KolsutJulian Kolsut

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