France to mark 77th anniversary of end of World War Two on Sunday

‘It is an opportunity to send a message in support of the fight for freedom and democracy’, France’s ministry of armed forces wrote

The tomb of the unknown soldier in Paris

French President Emmanuel Macron will preside over a commemoration ceremony in Paris Sunday morning (May 8) to mark the 77th anniversary of the end of World War Two.

The day, commonly known as V-E Day (Victory in Europe) is celebrated every May 8 and marks the anniversary of the unconditional German capitulation to the Allies in 1945.

Mr Macron will lay a wreath at the foot of the statue of General Charles de Gaulle, who led Free France against Nazi Germany during the war, before continuing along the Champs-Elysées.

The commemoration ceremony will end with a tribute in front of the tombe du soldat inconnu under the Arc de Triomphe, where the president will lay another wreath. The tomb is a monument to all soldiers who have died for France over the centuries.

Read more: What is the history behind Paris’s Tomb of the Unknown Soldier?

The ceremony will be aired on French television. Similar smaller ceremonies will take place all around the country.

France’s Ministry of Armed Forces states:

“May 8 is a symbolic date, celebrated in all towns and cities.

“On this day, all the events of World War Two are commemorated, including the victory of the Allies and the end of Nazi oppression in Europe.

“It is also an opportunity to send a message in support of the fight for freedom and democracy.”

May 8 is a public holiday in France but this year falls on a Sunday meaning that the majority of the country will not have an extra day off work or school.

You can read more about May 8 and see pictures of how the day was celebrated in France in 1945 at this link.

Related stories

Political storm over EU flag at Arc de Triomphe baffles many

Violette Szabo: British spy who fought Nazis to avenge French husband

Black US D-Day veteran awarded France’s highest honour aged 100

Le Bleuet de France - origins of the French cornflower tradition