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mike Meehan

70 year VE Day on BBC1

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I watched the above on the TV this evening - thought the program was well done and I don't mind admitting that some of the stories and letters which were read out brought a tear to my eye.

 

At the actual time I was approaching 2.5 years of age so don't recall too much at that particular time but during the course of getting a little older heard the stories of a number of people - one I recall was of a man, who was in the North Africa campaign where there were some of the biggest tank battles ever, who spoke of people quite literally losing their heads, generally the tank commander who was perched up on top.

 

What people did in those far off days was incredible, many going into battle with every expectation that they would not survive but were still willing to fight against a terrible evil for the cause and their fellow human beings. Then there were the bomber crews who were lucky if they survived their allotted 20 sorties with over 56,000 of them being killed in action and probably being amongst the group which had the highest mortality rate, yet they still took off to fly over enemy controlled territory knowing that the odds of them returning were not too good.

 

Then we have to consider the bravery of the 'merchant men' who traversed the U boat infested Atlantic to keep our country supplied and fed.

 

The civil authorities such as the firemen who were fighting fires in bombing raids when all sensible people were in a shelter somewhere.

 

People often forget the deprivations and the hardships which went with those times, the bravery of many, armed services and civilians, together with the community spirit which existed then.

 

I sometimes wonder whether we would still  face up as they did if the same situation were to occur today. I have little doubt that some would as shown by our current armed services but how would the civilian population react?

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I thought it was possibly one of the best programmes ever on the BBC.

 

Having looked forward to the concert aspects of it, the way they tied in the war story/history nationally and personally (alongside appropriate music/dance) to lead to the victorious ending was superbly presented and made me proud and unexpectedly emotional.

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