More than 40 million people had lost their lives by the time World War II ended in Europe on 8 May 1945.
President George W Bush laid a wreath at a US cemetery in the Netherlands, where 8,000 US servicemen are buried...
To mark Victory in Europe Day - or VE Day:
Germany held a special service at the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church in Berlin and a ceremony at the main Soviet war memorial. A special session of the German parliament is also being held.
In France, President Jacques Chirac attended ceremony on the Champs-Elysees in Paris, where he handed out medals to veterans and met school children.
In London, wreaths were laid at the Cenotaph to honour the 265,000 British servicemen and women who died in the war and tens of thousands of civilians killed in the German air raids.
Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende paid tribute to the fallen US soldiers, saying "they gave us the most precious gift - freedom".