LETTER : VE Day: youthful tributes, British war aims and the power of silence

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The Independent Online
From Mr David Harrison

Sir: The No 30 bus to Hackney screeched and jerked to a halt as a crackled garble roared from the driver's radio. The bell rang shrill, the doors hissed shut, and outside the boom-a-boom of car music behind us was punctuated by a horn or two and the tinkle of the Walkman earphones a few seats away.

Presently, the woman next to me reached up with an "excuse me", rang the bell rang, and in a flurry of rustling newspaper called to be let off the bus. The hiss-clang of the doors cued a rattle of hooves descending the stairs, as others joined her, dragging shopping and small children. Another unintelligible announcement on the radio, the engine coughed into life and in my head I could hear the voice of my yet unborn: "What did you do in the two-minute silence, Daddy?"

Yours faithfully,


London, E8

8 May

From Mr Douglas Gardner

Sir: The one vital element that seems to have been missed in the VE Day celebrations is gratitude for the European Union which - so long as we "cherish and protect it", in the words of Dr Carey - absolutely ensures that there will never again be such a war between the former European enemies.

The only people we need to vanquish now are those who are trying to break up the EU, dragging us back to 1938 and raising the spectre of another round of carnage, sacrifice and victory celebrations.

Yours faithfully,


(RAF 1939-45)

London, NW11

8 May