"We may allow ourselves a brief period of rejoicing; but let us not forget for a moment the toil and efforts that lie ahead."
The words of Sir Winston Churchill in a radio address to an exhausted, grieving nation on VE Day, 1945.
War had raged for almost six years and Churchill's announcement sparked scenes of unbridled joy, with people bursting out onto the streets and into town and city centres to celebrate and share the occasion with others. Churchill is even rumoured to have made sure the country had enough supplies of beer before announcing the holiday. Since that day every year VE Day has been a national holiday in celebration of the end of the war in Europe and in remembrance for those who lost their lives.
This week marks the 75th anniversary of VE Day, with commemorative events taking place up and down the country, albeit virtual or socially distanced. But Bruno Peek, Pageant Master of VE Day 75, is still encouraging the public to take part by raising a glass to salute all those who served. It is a day to recognise and thank those people and those who supported them, to remember those who gave their lives, and to be grateful for the huge sacrifices they have made in keeping our country and our people safe for generations.
It brings home the importance of the work our armed forces do, the dangerous environments they operate in, and the important role the industry has to play in making sure they have the skills and capabilities they need to carry out their missions and return safely to their families.
The threat landscape of today is very different to the one faced by our forces of 1945, but the need to ensure they are prepared and equipped to carry out their missions is as important as it ever was.
Read more about how Ultra is working to support our customers, arming them with the specialist capabilities they need in today’s operating environment.