Live Webcast at Noon on Friday To Feature Grandchildren of Churchill and Truman
America’s National Churchill Museum also asks Americans for one minute of silence at 11 a.m. CT to honor WWII Veterans and today’s healthcare heroes
FULTON, MO, May 5, 2020 – The public is invited to participate in a special webcast at noon on Friday, May 8, 2020, featuring artist Edwina Sandys and writer Clifton Truman Daniel, respective grandchildren of former British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill and U.S. President Harry S. Truman.
They will discuss their famous grandfathers’ leadership roles during WWII and on VE Day — Victory in Europe Day — May 8, 1945, a week after Adolf Hitler died by suicide and the Nazi army surrendered. In honor of the 75th anniversary of VE Day, Friday has been declared a national holiday throughout much of Europe.
The webcast will begin at noon Central Time and can be viewed live by clicking on America’s National Churchill Museum website or by visiting the Museum’s YouTube channel. Questions from viewers can be posted online at the start of the webcast.
The event will be facilitated by Timothy Riley, the Sandra L. and Monroe E. Trout Director and Chief Curator of America’s National Churchill Museum on the campus of Westminster College in Fulton, MO, where, at the invitation of then-President Truman, Churchill delivered his now-famous “Iron Curtain” speech on March 5, 1946. For the purposes of social distancing, Sandys, Daniel, and Riley will be conducting the webcast remotely.
Sandys is no stranger to the Museum or Fulton, which she has visited many times through the years. She is an author, a former columnist for the Sunday Telegraph in London, and an internationally acclaimed sculptor. Her artwork around the globe includes two special sculptures: Breakthrough at Westminster College, which features eight sections of the Berlin Wall, and the Millennium Arch at Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla, MO.
Sandys was close to her grandfather and grandmother, Clementine, and traveled with them often, especially in their later years.
Clifton Truman Daniel is the eldest grandson of Harry Truman and First Lady Bess Truman of Independence, MO. He is the son of the late best-selling mystery writer Margaret Truman and E. Clifton Daniel Jr., former managing editor of the New York Times.
Most recently, the younger Daniel oversaw public relations for Truman College, one of the seven City Colleges of Chicago. Before that, he worked as a feature writer and editor for the Morning Star and Sunday Star-News, a New York Times paper in Wilmington, NC. He also is the honorary chairman of the board of trustees of the Harry Truman Institute, the member-supported, nonprofit partner of the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum in Independence, MO.
Like Sandys, Daniel is a supporter of America’s National Churchill Museum. It is housed in the undercroft of a historic church, the Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Aldermanbury, which was bombed by the German Air Force on Dec. 29, 1940, at the start of WWII. The gutted church was acquired by the College’s Board of Trustees in the 1960s and rebuilt stone by stone on Westminster’s campus 4,200 miles away as a tribute to Churchill.
The lights throughout St. Mary the Virgin, Aldermanbury, have continued burning brightly since it was closed to the public on March 15 due to COVID-19 to serve as a “beacon of resilience” just like Churchill and to help keep area residents’ spirits high while battling against the pandemic.
Riley said although it is temporarily closed to the public due to COVID-19, the Museum plans to recognize the 75th anniversary of VE Day in honor of the special relationship between Great Britain and the United States, which often was promoted by Churchill.
At 11 a.m. CDT Friday, a sole trumpeter — David Myers of Columbia, MO — will play “The Last Post” from inside the empty Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Aldermanbury. The trumpet call is commonly played in British military funerals and ceremonies commemorating those who have been killed in war.
Following the trumpet call, Riley asks Americans to pause for one minute of silence to honor those who fought during WWII and to say a prayer for today’s healthcare heroes who are fighting to save lives during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The webcast featuring Edwina Sandys and Clifton Truman Daniel will begin at Noon CDT.
At 3 p.m., the bells of St. Mary the Virgin, Aldermanbury, will peal in “Victory” for two minutes in honor of the VE Day anniversary and to salute the American soldiers and other Allied troops who helped liberate Europe during WWII.
Immediately following that, the Museum will debut a special 75th anniversary of VE Day video, which will be released on YouTube and the Museum’s other social media channels.
The video’s release is being timed with a national address in Great Britain by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth at 9 p.m. British Summer Time (BST).
In Great Britain, other activities are planned to recognize the day the guns fell silent in Europe, including BBC’s national radio broadcast of Winston Churchill’s declaration of victory, a reading by Prince Charles from King George IV’s wartime diary, and at 3 p.m. BST, a nationwide toast will be offered up to WWII veterans, their families, and “those who gave so much,” according to an official program.
The festivities will be capped off with the Queen’s national broadcast over TV and radio at 9 p.m. BST, the same hour her father, King George IV, addressed Britons in 1945 to announce the War had ended across Europe.
At the end of her speech, the Queen will ask men, women, and children throughout Great Britain to go to their front porches and take part in a live national sing-along of Vera Lynn’s “We’ll Meet Again,” a popular wartime tune.
The Museum and the Callaway Chamber of Commerce in Fulton, MO, also are offering a VE Day 75 Family Fun guide that is available for free online for students, teachers and parents who are engaged in online learning.