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Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Sunday was VE Day, but I held this post over ...till I reflected some more on what I wanted to say.
There were VE day ceremonies on Sat/Sun in many other countries this weekend.
George Bush came over from USA to a US miltary cemetary in Holland to respect the 8,000 American fallen forces. Then he went on to share a similar National State occasion with Pres. Putin in Moscow, which turned out to be a huge State event.
In fact, more than 50 world leaders, including US President George W Bush, have been paying tribute in Moscow to the Soviet people's sacrifice in World War II, but not our Mr. Blair.
Pics were shown of Bush driving Russian President Vladimir Putin's Soviet-made Volga car. As a gesture of what, I wonder ?
Even Pres. Jacques Chirac lit a flame at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Arc de Triomphe, Paris.

All we had in London, was a very low key semi-official affair at the Cenotaph, attended by Geoff Hoon (WTF!!!) and Prince Charles, plus many veterans and famiies.
The Queen was not invited, despite this event being held on VE Day every year until this year.
Tony Blair (Old New Tired Labour) decided not to bother going, so neither could Michael Howard (Cons.) or Charles Kennedy (Lib.Dem.) attend due to silly protocol.
However, the BBC staged a "Party to remember" in Trafalger Square which 15,000 people enjoyed, plus millions via TV.

Monday was the turn of the Channel Islands. I'm glad the Queen was invited. Guernsey and Jersey were able to properly mark this event in history, as they wished, with respect. They even mark it as a Bank Holiday.

This whole VE Day thing is not just to mark the liberation of Nazi occupation, but importantly, for those who want to reflect their thanks to the fallen.
It's still a sobering thought to me that 40 million people had died by the time World War II ended in Europe on 8 May 1945.

All that history and Mr Blair can't be bothered to register the value of a formal VE day ceremony. Although, it's said the reason we have no official VE Day this year, is that VJ Day in August coincides with MP's and civil servants holidays in August. Therefore it was decided (no consultation) to hold a joint VE and VJ Day in July.
A bit like lumping the Jesus Easter and Christmas thing together in (say) September !

I wonder what our brave veterans and soldiers, seamen and airmen of more recent theatres of war in Falklands, Afghanistan, Iraq, et al, feel about all this.
Nope, it really doesn't work for me either.

And to think that, “Few Russian families were untouched by World War II, in which the Soviet Union lost an estimated “27 million” people,” so many Russians were lost! I had no idea that the Russians had paid such a terrible price. Surely, the price they paid has never been the focus of much comment in the west. I have always had the impression that the USA and Great Britain took much of the praise for the success of W.W.II.
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