May Bank Holiday To Move To Friday Next Year To Mark 75th Anniversary Of VE Day
The move will allow the nation to remember the significance of VE Day, which was first celebrated on 8 May 1945 when Germany's surrender was formally accepted, while honouring the contribution that the British, Commonwealth and Allied armed forces made.
As well as marking the victory more than seven decades ago, 8 May 2020 will also serve as an opportunity for the nation to pay tribute to those who have served and continue to serve in the UK Armed Forces and their families.
Commemorative events will be taking place across the country over the three day weekend, including street parties, bagpipers, bell ringing and The Nation's Toast - where more than 20,000 pubs will encourage patrons to raise a glass to the heroes of WWII.
Business Secretary Greg Clark said: "VE Day marked an historic moment in not only our nation's, but the world's history and it is important that we commemorate this great occasion on its 75th anniversary.
"Moving next year's early May bank holiday to VE Day itself is a right and fitting tribute.
"It will ensure as many people as possible have the opportunity to remember and honour our heroes of the Second World War and reflect on the sacrifices of a generation."
Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt added: "Moving next year's bank holiday will give us the opportunity to come together to remember and honour those who gave so much to secure our freedom and liberty."
The move has also been praised by veterans' charities, with Sir Andrew Gregory - CEO of Armed Forces charity SSAFA- saying: "Acknowledging 75 years since VE Day with a commemorative bank holiday is absolutely fitting. It is our duty to keep the events of the past alive in collective memory, including future generations - this is how we ensure that such a conflict never happens again.
"It is our hope that the nation takes a moment to reflect on the significance of this date, as a milestone that changed the course of history for the whole world.
"SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity was proud to have been there supporting men, women and families during the Second World War, and is still here now for the whole Forces community - whenever they need us. We're honoured to be the official charity partner for VE Day 75 and call on everyone to remember the men and women that fought to defend our freedom."
Featured Image Credit: PA