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Last Updated: Wednesday, 10 November, 2004, 14:27 GMT
Veterans to 'snub' commemoration
Revellers outside Buckingham Palace
60 years after it ended the Second World War will be commemorated
Veterans are dismayed at Government plans to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the end of the Second World War on just one day.

Instead of marking the end of the war in Europe on May 8 and on August 15, when fighting stopped in Japan, there will be one commemoration on July 10.

The day was chosen as 'symbolic' as it falls between the two dates.

But some Far East veterans feel snubbed and plan to boycott events, which will be attended by the Queen.

ITINERARY
10.30am Remembrance service at Westminster Abbey attended by 2,000 people
12.30 the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh will host a veterans' lunch in the grounds of Buckingham Palace
At 2.30pm 10,000 people, mostly veterans, will gather on Horse Guards' Parade for an afternoon of events.
There will be a two-minute silence
A procession of veterans' standards and banners will move down the Mall
Day will close with a poppy drop of 1.3m flowers from a Lancaster Bomber

Captain Paddy Vincent, chairman of the Burma Star Association, said although the organisation itself was not shunning the Government's celebrations, it was planning its own event in August.

He told BBC Breakfast: "We were disappointed when we heard it (VJ Day) wasn't going to be celebrated in August because most of our Far East veterans were in action right through until mid August."

The organisation had hoped the celebrations would be similar to those for the 50th anniversary, with the commemoration of the end of the war being held on the VJ Day anniversary.

Captain Vincent said: "A number of our members disliked the July date so much they preferred not to be involved in it."

About 100 members already had spaces allocated to them for the July event.

Minister for Veterans Ivor Caplin said the reason for the joint commemoration was practical.

He said: "A single day avoids a division of resources and enhances the scale of what can be achieved.

"July 10 was selected because it falls midway between VE Day and VJ Day.

"It is therefore a symbolic date, not intended to mark the cessation of hostilities."


SEE ALSO:
NI veteran's emotional return
10 Nov 04 |  Northern Ireland


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