May 8, 2020
Queen Elizabeth II Speech Transcript Honoring VE Day 75th Anniversary
The Queen of England, Queen Elizabeth II, gave a May 8 speech to the United Kingdom Honoring the VE Day 75th Anniversary. Read the full transcript of her address to the British people.
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Speaker 1: (00:03)
This is London. His majesty, King George VI.
King George VI: (00:14)
Let us remember the men of all the services, of the women in all the of services who have laid down their lives. We have come to the end of our tribulation and they are not with us at the moment of our rejoicing.
Queen Elizabeth II: (00:37)
I speak to you today the same hour as my father did exactly 75 years ago. His message then was a salute to the men and women at home and abroad, who have sacrificed so much in pursuit of what he rightly called a great deliverance.
Queen Elizabeth II: (00:58)
The war had been a total war. It had affected everyone and no one was immune from its impact. Whether it’d be the men and women called up to serve, families separated from each other or people asked to take on new roles and skills to support the war effort, all had a part to play.
Queen Elizabeth II: (01:22)
At the start, the outlook seemed bleak, the end distant, the outcome uncertain, but we kept faith that the cause was right. And this belief as my father noted in his broadcast carried us through. Never give up. Never despair. That was the message of VE Day.
Queen Elizabeth II: (01:47)
I vividly remember the jubilance scenes my sister and I witnessed with our parents and Winston Churchill from the balcony of Buckingham Palace. The sense of joy in the crowds who gathered outside and across the country was profound.
Queen Elizabeth II: (02:05)
Though while we celebrated the victory in Europe, we knew there would be further sacrifice. It was not until August that fighting in the far east ceased and the war finally ended. Many people laid down their lives in that terrible conflict. They fought so we could live in peace at home and abroad.
Queen Elizabeth II: (02:29)
They died so we could live as free people in a world of free nations. They risked all so our families and neighborhoods could be safe. We should and will remember them.
Queen Elizabeth II: (02:45)
As I now reflect on my father’s words and the joyous celebrations some of us experienced firsthand, I’m thankful for the strength and courage that the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth, and all our allies displayed.
Queen Elizabeth II: (03:03)
The wartime generation knew that the best way to honor those who did not come back from the war was to ensure that he didn’t happen again. The greatest tribute to their sacrifice is that countries who were once sworn enemies are now friends working side by side for the peace, health, and prosperity of us all.
Queen Elizabeth II: (03:27)
Today, it may seem hard that we cannot mock the special anniversary as we would wish. Instead, we remember from our homes and our doorsteps, but our streets are not empty. They are filled with the love and the care that we have for each other.
Queen Elizabeth II: (03:45)
And when I look at our country today and see what we are willing to do to protect and support one another, I say with pride that we are still a nation, those brave soldiers, sailors, and airmen would recognize and admire. I send my warmest good wishes to you all.