TODAY, Friday, marks the anniversary of one of the most significant moments in British history.

After almost six years at war, VE Day was declared to bring peace to Europe and mark the beginning of the end of the Second World War.

By the end of summer the war was over in Japan too and troops were returning to Warrington from wherever they had been stationed for the previous few years.

The celebrations on VE Day then were special.

They ran into days, reports from the time say, and the town slowly reopened.

Rugby returned to Wilderspool, Walking Day took place again and churches held special services.

Parties included food not seen for years and fireworks exploded in the sky.

It was a joyous time. Yet the effects of war lasted for the years that followed.

Some rationing continued into the 1950s, many soldiers took a long time to return and others had to live with the scars of battle.

There was no help for post-traumatic stress syndrome in those days.

Many people have compared the current coronavirus pandemic to life in the Second World War.

And in some ways, there are parallels.

For children carrying gas masks, to today’s new world of face masks.

Make do and carry on was the mantra of the 1940s and home cooking and growing is making a return in the 2020s.

Events have been postponed as they were in war time, such as sport and walking day. Indeed cinemas remained open for some parts of the war.

We are cut off from our loved ones today as people would have been during the war.

And the loss of loved ones is as tragic today as it was then.

But actually, what we are going through now is nothing compared to the horrors of war.

The lockdown has been in place for seven weeks and even when it is lifted, new measures are likely to be in place until a vaccine can be found.

But that won’t be in six years’ time. And it won’t come with the terror of war.

We aren’t spending our evenings in air raid shelters. We don’t have to eat sugar sandwiches or face rationing in shops – we can probably all live without plain flour or a bag of pasta for a week.

People are able to work on their laptops at home.

Even if the pandemic is still ongoing at Christmas, Amazon orders will ensure nobody gives without. A simple apple or orange will not be the only gift a child receives from Santa.

Even absences from loved ones is made easier with Facetime, Zoom or even a simple phone call.

So while we can draw parallels from history, do not confuse them with reality.

War was harder and tougher and even if we are in for a rough ride to come, won’t see the same sacrifices.

One thing that is similar is the heroes of today.

For the war time soldiers, we have the key workers of today.

The NHS staff fighting to beat this disease.

Enjoy the VE Day celebrations from the comfort of home and raise a glass to the heroes of 1945 and the heroes of 2020.