VE Day: Dame Vera Lynn says 'hope remains' in message

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Dame Vera LynnImage source, PA Media
Image caption,
Dame Vera Lynn was known as the Forces' Sweetheart during her World War Two heyday

Dame Vera Lynn has spoken about the bravery and sacrifice that characterises the nation on the eve of the 75th anniversary of VE Day.

In 1945, huge crowds celebrated after learning of the final surrender of the Nazis, but many will spend Friday's anniversary in coronavirus lockdown.

Dame Vera, now 103, said while people would be apart, "hope remains even in the most difficult of times".

Quoting from her most well-known song, she said: "We will meet again."

The wartime song was also echoed by the Queen in a special televised address in April, when she acknowledged the hardship Britons were facing during the Covid-19 crisis.

The statement by Dame Vera, who lives in Ditchling, East Sussex, said VE Day was one of the most important days in the UK's history, marking the day when freedom returned "after the most difficult of times".

She said as celebrations were held for the anniversary "we must all remember the brave boys and what they sacrificed for us... they left their families and homes to fight for our freedom and many lost their lives trying to protect us and our liberties".

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
One of Vera Lynn's most famous songs, We'll Meet Again, was released in 1939

The London-born singer said: "This year, we must commemorate this special anniversary apart.

"I hope that VE Day will remind us all that hope remains even in the most difficult of times and that simple acts of bravery and sacrifice still define our nation as the NHS works so hard to care for us.

"Most of all, I hope today serves as a reminder that however hard things get, we will meet again."

Dame Vera is best known for performing for the troops during World War Two in countries including Egypt, India and Burma.

Her famous songs include The White Cliffs Of Dover and There'll Always Be An England.

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