UK Vets Day

June 27 is almost certain to be chosen as National Veterans' Day, an occasion for honouring former servicemen and women.

The day is being championed by Gordon Brown, who hopes that it will become as established a part of the national calendar as Remembrance Sunday.

In a speech to the Royal United Services Institute today, the Chancellor will appeal to Britons to take part in local ceremonies during which veterans of conflicts ranging from the Second World War to Aden, Kosovo and Iraq will be honoured.

He will say: "I propose ceremonies in every constituency to mark National Veterans' Day, where we present veterans with veterans' medals."

Mr Brown's adoption of the day is part of a strategy aimed at widening his political appeal beyond economics before his presumed assumption of the premiership.

In his speech, which will deal mainly with measures required to counter the threat of terrorism, Mr Brown will announce the extension of the right to apply for a veteran's badge from the current limit of 1954 to all those who served in the Armed Forces until 1960. The additional years would take in the invasion of Suez in 1956 and the start of the war in Aden.

Over the next five years, veteran status is to be extended to those who have served in more recent conflicts, such as Northern Ireland, the Falklands, the Gulf war, Kosovo, Sierra Leone, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Mr Brown will suggest that greater value should be given to the "ideals of Britishness" and British symbols and institutions. He will announce a £1.5 million donation towards the new Armed Forces memorial in Staffordshire.

Mr Brown wants young people to play a central role in Veterans' Day, taping and recording the reminiscences of former servicemen for use in a new national archive financed from Government and possibly National Lottery money.

The Queen was given a number of dates in June on which to hold Veterans' Day.

A source said that June 27 was considered suitable because it fell on the day after the anniversary of the first investiture of the Victoria Cross in Hyde Park in 1857.

There is a story on the Telegraph home page.
Gordon Brown who has forced through repeated cuts of defence spending and in effect disbanded four Battalions of Infantry and reduced the Navy to sub French levels now wants to strengthen his position by cossying up to the forces.

In my opinion this is expediency and hypocrisy of the worst sort.

As for a 1.5M new memorial what about dipping into his pocket to maintain those memorials already in place?
How about making it a public holiday? This year its a tuesday, deep joy.


Book Reviewer
I thought we already had a day to remember our fallen and veterans - 11 November.

Am I missing something?


Legs said:
I thought we already had a day to remember our fallen and veterans - 11 November.

Am I missing something?
Other than G Brown wanting to be PM, no
Let me guess, the negative reactiion that would have been sparked off had Broon been seen to be poaching Remembrance Day as a vehicle to forward his own agenda woud have been so pronounced that he has dreamed up this little ruse? As an alternative, why not make Nov 11 a Public Holiday and use the opportunity to mark the event fully - including sweeping all the Remembrance Sunday events into a national day of commemoration (without bank Holiday sports or "never to be repeated sales" at your local sofa store......)
I think Brown had intended to remove Remembrance Day into the History Books and have what he called a British Day. He has probably realised that this was not acceptable so has come up with this idea, still if you get a day off to remember our troops then why not.
Could we not all meet at Tyburn and hang Bliar so that we can get this scottish comedian into the hot seat quicker, so we have someone new to completely f*ck up the country and the military.
Of all the things that he could interest himself in that are applicable to us, he chooses this. That alone makes me suspicious. What about combat stress day, improved pensions day, better accommodation day? I'm sure those here can think of others.
Unfortunately no day off, and suspect it is just something that will be allowed to drift into distant memory very quickly. I'd rather see him changing his spending options and funding the existing armed forces properly.

Spin just Spin, and I guess this is the product of a mind like Alistair Campbell who has been rushed back to Downing Street to patch things over!
I think this is in part a reaction to the clamour for a new public holiday and the suggestion that Oct 21st [Trafalgar] was a popular choise. Wouldn't want to upset the frogs would we so idea was quietly dropped and surprise surprise 'they' have come up with this piece of Crup. Lets give every one who's been in 5 minutes a silly badge and call him a 'vet' - that will be

Mild but heartfelt rant over
The USA observes Memorial Day on May 30th (originally to honour the memory of those who died in the Civil War) to remember the dead of all its wars/conflicts it is a national (public) holiday (last Monday in May). Remembrance Day, November 11th, is known as Veterans Day (initially known as Armistice Day - as it was in the UK) in the US, it too is a national holiday, living veterans of US wars/conflicts are honoured on that day.

Sounds like the Blair Government is attempting to imitate the USA. Personally I'd rather keep Remembrance Day as a day to honour those who served as well as those who sacrificed their lives and make it a public holiday.
Interestingly when Martin Luther King Jr Day was first mooted in the US back in 1985/6 its proponents suggested giving up Veterans Day as a national holiday to ensure MLK Day's acceptance as such by the Government. Naturally there was a furor the proposal was short lived now both are national holidays! Veteran's Day parades are held in even the smallest of towns and villages while MLK Day is just another day off for State and Federal Government workers.
Reminiscent of the spinning which took place when they ditched the RUC (Have a GC, go on). It strikes me as a cheap and meaningless gesture from people who have no real understanding of the way people in the Forces think.
Can't be bothered with it, myself. 11 November's good enough for me.
And I'm an ex-serviceman, not a 'vet'.
The weather in June should be far better than in October for Bank Holiday, so why not. The Government are saying we need more BH to start to bring us in line with Europe, so why not have one to remember the past and present members of the Forces where it does not have to be to sombre

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