VE Day Commemorations Across the World


Victory in Europe (VE) Day is not a day to mark the end of the entire war, only the fighting in Europe. Later in the year (often around early September), various East Asian countries, as well as the United States, celebrate Victory over Japan (VJ) Day. VJ Day is the only holiday celebrated in both Koreas.

Jack Scott, Staff Writer

Countries from across the world have been hosting parades and elaborate celebrations to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of the Second World War in Europe. In the United States, period planes flew over Washington D.C. in formations recounting various battles from the war. One plane that experienced engine trouble landed safely at Reagan National Airport. The event was attended by thousands, including veterans of the war. President Barack Obama saluted the war veterans and those who supported the war effort, calling them a generation that “saved the world.”

Russia held a similarly extravagant event. Over 16,000 troops marched through Red Square in Moscow in Russia’s biggest-ever military parade. President Vladimir Putin of Russia, President Xi Jinping of China, President Pranab Mukherjee of India, President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan, and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon were among the prominent figures and world leaders attending the celebration. Many Western heads of state did not attend due to tensions related to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

President Bronisław Komorowski of Poland held ceremonies in Gdansk as an alternative to Russia’s parade in Moscow, but most European heads of state attended events in their own countries. In the United Kingdom, for example, Prime Minister David Cameron and other Party leaders joined the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh for ceremonies in London.