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Last Updated: Monday, 13 February 2006, 15:17 GMT
Annual day to honour UK veterans
D-day veterans
The commemorative day will not be a public holiday
Former servicemen and women are to be honoured on 27 June every year at a series of ceremonies across the UK, it has been announced.

Former soldiers, air crews and sailors will be presented with medals at local events on National Veterans Day.

Chancellor Gordon Brown, who announced the plans for the annual event, said the aim was to ensure the contribution of veterans was "never forgotten".

However, the day will not become a national holiday.

Victoria Cross

Minister for Veterans Don Touhig is expected to make an announcement with more details about the commemorative day in the House of Commons later this week.

And funding for the event is yet to be decided.

"The National Veterans Day in June is designed to thank today's generation of ex-servicemen and women for their service to our country," said Mr Brown on Monday.

The Veterans Agency said 27 June was chosen as it comes the day after the anniversary of the first investiture of the Victoria Cross, which happened in Hyde Park, London, in 1857.

US model

The commemorative day will be a permanent extension of Veterans Awareness Week which was held for the first time last year, a spokesman said.

National Veterans Day follows the US model of commemorative annual events.

Veterans in the US have had an official holiday since 1954, when Armistice Day on 11 November was changed to Veterans Day by an Act of Congress.

Armistice Day marks the end of fighting between the Allied forces and Germany in World War I.



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