Prayers across Europe for VE Day

 Prayers were said across Europe on Sunday to commemorate the 60th anniversary of VE Day. More than 40 million people had been killed by the time World War II ended in Europe on 8 May 1945. In London Prince Charles launched the first service of the day by laying a wreath at the Cenotaph in London before meeting veterans in Hyde Park. In Scotland, First Minister Jack McConnell attended a church service in St Andrew's Cathedral, before laying a wreath on behalf of the Scottish people. In Cardiff, veterans marked the day with a service at the cenotaph in Cathays Park and church services and street parties were held in Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester. US President Bush led commemorations at the US military cemetery in the Netherlands, where 8,000 servicemen are buried. A service took place at Berlin Cathedral in Germany and French President Jacques Chirac attended a ceremony on the Champs-Elysees in Paris. Around 265,000 British servicemen and women were killed in World War II, and tens of thousands of civilians died in the Blitz. One Gloucester Parish Priest took part in an ecumenical service of remembrance. The service began at the war memorial in the grounds of St James Anglican Church in Quedgeley, Gloucester. Father Keith Miles Parish Priest of the English Martyrs, Tuffley, Gloucester said: "I was very pleased to be invited to attend this important memorial. It is right that the Catholic Church should take part in these events. Many Catholics lost their lives and loved ones during the war and we all benefit from the peace that was won at so great a cost." The singing was led by a group of children and the Salvation Army. A full band, including pipers and drums led the march past. The salute was taken by the Lord Lieutenant of Gloucester, together with Parmjit Dhanda MP for Gloucester, the Mayor of Gloucester and others including the clergy present at the service.

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