This week marks an historic milestone in world history, with the commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe: VE-Day. On May 8, 1945, Axis forces in Europe, led by Germany, signed articles of surrender—not just an armistice. Last year, plans began for a series of events that would appropriately mark the occasion, including flyovers using historic aircraft in Washington, DC, and a gala event in the city to mark the victory. The activities in DC would be matched by similar flights and festivities in Hawaii in September to signify the end of the war in the Pacific in August 1945.
However, as with so many carefully planned gatherings and airshows this spring and summer, in March the consortium organizing the events announced that it would move the events to September in response to the COVID-19 outbreak and stay-at-home protocols. The Arsenal of Democracy Victory Gala will be held on Thursday, September 24, at the historic Hangar 7 at Washington Reagan National Airport, now Signature Flight Support. All previous speakers have been reconfirmed. The warbird flyover planned for the nation’s capital will be flown on September 25. You can find further activities on the group’s website.
You can still mark the anniversary of V-E Day, however, with a special livestream presentation produced by broadcast journalist David Hartman and aviation production expert Scott Guyette, of Sleeping Dog Productions and using footage provided by the Experimental Aircraft Association’s Warbirds of America “Warbirds in Review.”
“Victory In Europe—VE DAY 75 Years Later” will be broadcast on Friday, May 8, starting at 11:30 a.m. ET, when the Arsenal of Democracy Victory Commemoration WWII Flyover was originally scheduled to begin its aerial tribute over the National Mall. The livestream will air on the Arsenal of Democracy website and Facebook page, and on the 75th WWII Commemoration website, at which you can find on-going program and commemoration updates.