Today, hundreds of military and veteran parades will take place in towns and cities across the United Kingdom for the VE and VJ 60th anniversary celebrations. This weekend was chosen because it falls midway between VE Day (08.05.45) and VJ Day (15.08.45). Much of what makes us still proud to be British - despite the innumerable pitfalls of our country - will be in evidence this afternoon. The parades are part of a series of events commemorating the defeat of Germany and Japan occurring throughout the country between now and early 2006. For people in the Irish Republic who want to recall and pay thanks to the supreme sacrifice of that country's volunteers, brave enough to treat De Valera's 'neutrality' with the contempt it deserved, there will be a service of thanksgiving at the Islandmagee Memorial in Phoenix Park, Dublin this afternoon. Here in the UK, the main events of today are taking place in the following locations:
- Swanage parade and service, Swanage, Dorset.
- Service at Westminster Abbey, London.
- Parade event, Horse Guards Parade, The Mall, London.
- Victoria Fireworks Fantasia, march past and wreath laying, Cannon Hill Park, Birmingham.
- Service and open day parade, Macclesfield, Cheshire.
- Nottingham parade and thanksgiving service (11:00), Nottingham.
- Service of thanksgiving, Wells Cathedral, Wells, Somerset.
- Service of thanksgiving, Lincoln Cathedral, Lincoln.
- Parade and service, Chester.
- Garden party and commemoration, Government House, Douglas, Isle of Man.
- Thanksgiving parade, Newcastle.
- Thanksgiving service, Anglican Cathedral, Liverpool.
- Veterans service in Abbey Gardens, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk.
- Parade and service, Chelmsford, Essex.
- Marquee event, National Memorial Arboretum, Alrewas, Staffordshire.
I hope some ATW readers will be able to attend one of the celebrations to show their gratitude.