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Ceremony at Cenotaph will mark 60th Anniversary of Victory in Europe
Published Wednesday 4th May 2005
WWII 60th anniversary logo
Scotland's Deputy First Minister Jim Wallace along with veteran Mr Douglas Roger (86) of The Black Watch and Amy Kirkhouse (11)of Prestonfield Primary School launch a programme of events to commemorate the 60th Anniversary of the End of World War 2 in the grounds of Edinburgh castle.
At 1020 hrs on Sunday 8 May 2005, HRH the Prince of Wales, will lay a wreath at the Cenotaph in Whitehall to mark the 60th anniversary of Victory in Europe Day.
Later the same day a Dakota DC3 from the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight based at RAF Coningsby will overfly Big Ben, Whitehall and Trafalgar Square at the opening of a VE Day BBC Concert, which will begin at 2000 hrs
Also laying wreaths on 8 May 2005 will be a representative of the Government; the Chief of Defence Staff; the Chiefs of Staff; representatives from various Veteran organisations including the Royal British Legion and representatives from the Emergency services.
The service at the Cenotaph will mark the beginning of a series of events to mark the 60th Anniversary of the end of World War II including a National Commemoration Day on Sunday 10 July and a ceremony at the Cenotaph on 21 August to commemorate Victory over Japan Day. The main theme for the commemorative events is 'Thanks for our Future' to encourage as many people as possible to be involved.
To bring both VE and VJ anniversaries together, the main focus for the commemoration will be the focal events on 10 July at which Her Majesty The Queen will lead. The preceding week (4 -10 July), which is 'Veterans Awareness Week’, will encompass many activities across all parts of the nation.
The Ministry of Defence has been working with a team drawn from various Veterans Organisations for over a year to pull together the events designed to reflect both the poignant and celebratory aspects of the Anniversary. The Big Lottery Fund's Home Front Recall scheme is providing a number of national grants to charities and organizations to enable them to hold their own commemorative functions.
The Second World War affected the nation as a whole. This commemoration reminds us of the contribution made by people from all walks of life in our nation. Those who fought in combat, women at war (either on active service or in land work), the emergency services, the men and women who worked in vital areas such as the land, in shipbuilding, in the Merchant Navy, in mines, in factories, the children who were evacuated and all who suffered enemy bombing; the hardship of rationing and, in so many cases, bereavement.
These events represent not only an opportunity for those who lived through the war to remember their family, friends and colleagues who died but for all, including their children and grandchildren, to get involved to celebrate the ending of the conflict and to endeavour to seek a peaceful resolution to international conflict. It is also an opportunity for the youth of today to learn about these sacrifices and to give their thanks for the part those people played.
Most of the focal events are all ticket functions and while all events are sold out at present, reserve lists are being compiled. Big screens will display events to those in and around the Mall and the public are encouraged to come to the Park and watch the events.
For more information veterans and their families should call the Veterans Agency Helpline on 0800 169 22 77.
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