The Department of Defense will hold a Virtual Commemoration on Friday to mark the 75th Anniversary of Victory in Europe Day, or V-E Day.
At 10:30am, the event will be broadcast on Defense.gov, Facebook and Twitter. The Smithsonian Channel will rebroadcast the program at 8pm.
Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley, ABC’s Robin Roberts, NBC’s Tom Brokaw, and Comedian Jay Leno will speak at the event.
”Today, as we celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Allied victory in Europe during World War II, we honor the sacrifices of all those who served during this defining moment in human history,” Esper said in a statement. ”Although we face significant challenges with COVID-19, our commitment to remember the bravery and sacrifices of our WWII veterans will not change.”
U.S. President Donald J. Trump signed the ”75th Anniversary of World War II Commemoration Act” on January 10, 2019 to thank and honor veterans of World War II and to highlight the service of the armed forces during that time.
In anticipation of victory during World War II, the term “VE Day” or “V-E Day” was coined in September 1944. It is celebrated on May 8th in the U.S., the UK and the Northern European Countries. Other countries including Israel, Russia, Belarus and Serbia mark VE Day on May 9th.
In 1945, this victory coincided with President Harry Truman’s 61st birthday. He dedicated the victory to the memory of his predecessor, Franklin D Roosevelt who had died the month prior due to a cerebral brain hemorrhage.
Commemorative partners from all levels of government, veteran service organizations businesses are committed to publicly thanking and honoring WWII veterans and their families on behalf of the nation.