Today marks the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War in Europe.
To achieve victory had a huge cost in lives with up to 20 million people perishing in Europe alone. 85% of all casualties were on the Allied side. In that total, not all were military combatants, as many civilians were killed.
We remember all those that made the ultimate sacrifice, and commemorate the huge effort made by everyone to achieve victory and who fought for freedom and democracy.
After the war, those same people who fought for our freedom and democracy then went on to rebuild our country, gave us the NHS, our welfare state, and recognised the importance of human rights.
As we celebrate the victory in Europe, we should also make time to reflect on how much we value the peace that we have enjoyed as a result. A peace that has held in most of Europe for 75 years. A peace that we should all be vigilant to protect and preserve.
To all those who fought and rebuilt our country we owe a huge debt of gratitude. A debt that can in part be repaid by ensuring we look after them in their old age, and we can at least start by providing the proper care many of them need at this difficult time.
So, however you celebrate – have a happy VE Day.
Stephen Brown, Wyre Forest Labour