VE Day – 75 years on

Historian article

By Paula Kitching, published 1st May 2020

In May this year the May Day bank holiday is being moved from the first Monday of the month to the first Friday, that is, from the 4 May to the 8 May. This is to commemorate the 75th anniversary of VE Day and the defeat of Nazism. Calls were made for an additional holiday, the compromise was a switch on days, but why have a holiday to mark the end of a conflict at all?

After nearly a decade of commemorations of the two world wars from the twentieth century some might feel that another event associated with past conflicts is not necessary, especially as even though the Second World War was a global event (clue in the title) there has been no indication that the August bank holiday will be moved from the last Monday of that month to one near the start in order to commemorate VJ day which is when the total fighting could be said to have ended. So why is this date being marked?

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