This two-day observance gives people, non-government organizations, and governments the chance to remember people who died during World War II. The dates for this observance are marked in calendars and noted in organizations throughout the world. Articles about remembering World War II victims may be published in magazines, newspaper, or online during this time of the year.
Some organizations, including embassies, may have special wreath laying ceremonies at cemeteries or memorials to remember World War II soldiers who died fighting for their country, as well as Holocaust victims and those who died in concentration camps.
The UN General Assembly noted in November 2004 that 2005 marked the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II. The assembly held a special meeting to mark the sixtieth anniversary of the end of World War II during the second week of May in 2005. The meeting gave participants a chance to commemorate the sacrifices that people made during the war.
The UN also declared May 8 and 9 as a time of remembrance and reconciliation, to be observed annually worldwide on either day or both days. These dates serve as a tribute to all those who died during World War II. This observance is not to be confused with the International Day of Commemoration in Memory of the Victims of the Holocaust.
By resolution 59/26 of 22 November 2004, the UN General Assembly declared 8–9 May as a time of remembrance and reconciliation and, while recognizing that Member States may have individual days of victory, liberation and commemoration, invited all Member States, organizations of the United Nations System, non-governmental organizations and individuals to observe annually either one or both of these days in an appropriate manner to pay tribute to all victims of the Second World War.
The Assembly stressed that this historic event established the conditions for the creation of the United Nations, designed to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, and called upon the Member States of the United Nations to unite their efforts in dealing with new challenges and threats, with the United Nations playing a central role, and to make every effort to settle all disputes by peaceful means in conformity with the Charter of the United Nations and in such a manner that international peace and security are not endangered.