VE Day: Just as in 1945, days of anxiety will become days of calm

This week marks the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War in Europe.

Tuesday, 5th May 2020, 10:41 am
Updated Wednesday, 6th May 2020, 11:50 am
Susan Pyper

Years of conflict, devastation, grief and sacrifice turned to peace, a reshaped world, a desire to rebuild and a strong and lasting sense of shared community.

And now three quarters of a century later our world here in West Sussex, in our nation and beyond, is once again uncertain, suffering and frightening.

Lives and livelihoods are suddenly threatened in a manner that no one expected just a few months ago.

The basic human instinct to meet other people, to be with family and friends particularly when they need us most is being denied to us all, and it is causing unimaginable pain and distress in many different ways.

The phrase ‘a new normal’ appears frequently.

But who knows what that will turn out to be.

Those who lived through the Second World War trusted that something better would follow.

And it is now our turn to rediscover that trust.

We will get through this.

I believe that strongly because of what I see and hear taking place in our county right now. The support of local communities to those who need it most.

The compassion and determination being shown by so many individuals, groups, charities, companies, people just doing their job.

And just as importantly, all of us who are trying to do what we can by following official advice, making it easier for those delivering essential services to carry out their vital tasks.

To everyone I want to say a sincere and heartfelt ‘thank you’.

You are making such a difference.

The Queen’s very personal address last month was a great encouragement to many of us.

She spoke of the ‘attributes of self-discipline, of quiet good-humoured resolve and of fellow-feeling’, and I know that we have these in abundance in West Sussex.

I have never been more proud of this county as I see it responding and adapting to this crisis, sometimes with striking and generous actions, and just as often in the small things, the gestures of concern, sympathy and kindness that are so important and are carrying us through.

The time will come when we are properly able to recognise the extraordinary efforts that many of you are making and I want to reassure you that considerable thought is already being given as to how that might work.

For the moment we must persevere and continue to support each other so that just as in 1945, days of anxiety will become days of calm and of rekindled confidence.

Thank you again for everything that you are doing, and my warm wishes to you all.

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