UK Vets Day

February 13th, 2006  

Topic: 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.

February 13th, 2006  
You don't have a Vets Day?

February 13th, 2006  
Not knowing the players, and working with the only article I can find (Guardian Unlimited January 14, 2006), it looks more like a politician doing his thing rather than doing something for the Vets.

From Guardian Unlimited:
Brown: Remembrance Sunday should become 'British Day'

Chancellor advocates annual celebration to emulate Fourth of July
Gordon Brown will propose today that Remembrance Sunday should be developed into a national day of patriotism to celebrate British history, achievements and culture. The chancellor envisages a "British Day", equivalent to the Fourth of July independence celebrations in the United States.
Mr Brown's remarks at a Fabian Society conference sponsored by the Guardian represent his clearest attempt yet to flesh out his personal political programme.
In his speech Mr Brown will embrace the patriotism of the US, saying: "In any survey our most popular institutions range from the monarchy to the army to the NHS. But think: what is our Fourth of July? What is our Independence Day? Where is our declaration of rights? What is our equivalent of a flag in every garden? Perhaps Remembrance Day and Remembrance Sunday are the nearest we have come to a British day - unifying, commemorative, dignified and an expression of British ideas of standing firm for the world in the name of liberty."

Mr Brown recognises that adding an element of celebration to Remembrance Day - traditionally for mourning Britain's war dead - could be controversial so he is also looking at a new day for Britishness modelled on the celebrations of VE Day.
Either way, he believes the British flag needs to be recaptured from the far right. "The union flag should be a British symbol of unity around our values ... and we should assert that the union flag is for tolerance and inclusion."
Mr Brown will also give the first clues about his thinking in other areas of policy. He will suggest that:
· The government should withdraw further from the appointment of judiciary and clergy, even the appointment of the Archbishop of Canterbury. This follows hints that he accepts the need for a check on the government's right to declare war without parliamentary sanction.
· Some of the political intensity could be taken from the tuition fees dispute by proposing that students be given extra grants if they agree to serve the community in their gap year before university.
· A new constitutional settlement should be considered, including handing power to local neighbourhoods and councils.
The chancellor's aides believe that a renewed patriotism, celebrating all the elements of modern Britain, is an agenda that the Conservatives cannot readily follow because in their hands it would look backward-looking and even chauvinistic.
He will say the centre and the left have failed to understand that the values on which Britishness is based - fairness, liberty and responsibility - owe more to progressive ideas than to rightwing ones.
Mr Brown also appears to accept that an elected Lords is not on Mr Blair's third-term agenda: he will say that Lords reform is an issue to which the party must return in a fourth term.
Aware that David Cameron has proposed a form of national volunteering service, Mr Brown will seek to reclaim the issue, pointing to his plans in the 2004 budget to encourage youth volunteering first set out in the Russell commission.
The English language, he will say, should be made an essential element of citizenship, through mandatory language courses for jobseekers found wanting.
Veterans' groups backed the idea of celebrating Britishness, but opposed confusing that with Remembrance Day. John Hawthornthwaite, national chairman of the Royal British Legion, said: "Anything that would dilute what Remembrance Sunday and November 11 stand for would not be welcome. They have been instituted to remember the sacrifices of those who died for our freedom."
February 13th, 2006  
PJ24....In answer to your question, no we don't have a Vets in the UK, there is not even a a Bank holiday for Remembrance Day.
February 13th, 2006  
Originally Posted by LeEnfield
PJ24....In answer to your question, no we don't have a Vets in the UK, there is not even a a Bank holiday for Remembrance Day.
That's really up. British troops have done their country proud through the years, you would think they could at least give them a full day of recognition.
February 13th, 2006  

Topic: Vets Day for Brits

Originally Posted by PJ24
That's really up. British troops have done their country proud through the years, you would think they could at least give them a full day of recognition.
I agree! Get the politicians out of this and give the vets the recognition they deserve!
February 14th, 2006  
Is Vets day the same as our ANZAC day?
If it is then they should definitely have one. All military personal killed in action should be remembered no matter what conflict they were involved in.
February 19th, 2006  
Its always the same old story. Politicians casue the wars and the soldiers fight them. The UK should commemerate the bravery in away it is remembered in other pasrts of the world. I also think they should be more supportive after soldiers leave the military. Other countries I believe do acheive this in a better fashion than us Brits.
February 19th, 2006  
Well, a day is all very well, and giving honour and medals is fine, but I would really like to see is much more attention paid to veterans health issues here in the UK. People come back from these conflicts with serious injuries, sickness that lasts for years and mental illness, and are pretty much left to cope via the unsympathetic health service. Many are unemplyed. So many homeless people in London are former servicemen; after all, if you are too sick to work, you have no money and it is very easy to fall through the system.

So, one day is good, but what about the other three hundred and sixty four?
February 20th, 2006  
Kirruth.......Just how much help was given to WW2 vets when they returned from a far bloodier conflict, well it was as close to zero as you could get. Now Britain has been involved in one conflict or another since the end of WW2 and there was only one year where no soldier was killed in fighting and that was 1969. So why do we have a problem these days with ex servicemen returning from what is a very minor conflict. Does not a lot of the responsibility of these troubles lay in their hands. When I left the Service after my spell of duty I had seen active service on two continents, I handed my uniform and left with the money I had left from my last pay day to set me up again in civy street. Now I had been conscripted into the Army and because I had not volunteered I only got half the pay that a Regular soldier got yet we did not wind up in gutter all the lads just went back to their life's quite thankful that they had survived. there were not the state hand outs in those days to what there are now.

This contians a list of the conflicts since WW2 where British Troops have fought.