The Star says: A day to rejoice and also to remember

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It is the sort of history that you used to learn at school. VE Day, May 8 1945.

Victory in Europe as the Allies in the Second World War formally accepted the surrender of Nazi Germany’s armed forces.

Six long years of war for Great Britain were brought to an end and the country rejoiced.

And now, 70 years on, we should celebrate again.

Across South Yorkshire this weekend there will be street parties, dancing and music. Wreaths will be laid at the Sheffield Cenotaph in Barkers Pool and a Lancaster Bomber will fly over Sheffield Cathedral while festivities are taking place, including a Winston Churchill impersonator.

Chapeltown residents will be dancing the night away to a Vera Lynn tribute band. St Bartholomew’s Church on Primrose Hill will host a wartime singalong.

Over in Thorne there is an entire weekend of celebrations. In Friday’s paper we provide you with a guide to what’s going on across our region.

And then in Saturday’s Star, as part of our popular Retro supplement, there will be a further eight-page pullout for VE Day.

Saturday’s paper will also have full results and analysis of the General Election as the country comes to terms with the dramatic battle for the keys to No 10.

Who knows what sort of general elections we would have had if the Allies hadn’t forced Nazi Germany’s surrender.

We often read of 70 years of peace in Europe but that’s not quite true.

Conflicts and wars have taken place across the continent and it would be a brave man who can predict accurately where the next trouble will be.

Even now there is a war taking place in the far east of Europe between Russian backed forces and Ukraine.

It will be interesting to see who forms a Government because Defence – with the exception of the Trident debate – took a back seat during the election campaigning.

Our armed forces haven’t been this stretched in many a year and the decision to keep or get rid of Trident is extremely contentious. In today’s world is a nuclear deterrent needed? We have had one for such a long time that it could be a huge risk to dismantle it.

As a nation we are justly proud of our armed forces.

This region has a magnificent history of service, which includes the Second World War. On this day of celebration we will remember them all.