‘Much-cherished’ service personnel hailed on Armed Forces Day

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack has paid tribute to military personnel north of the border on Armed Forces Day.

The celebration, taking place on Saturday, is in its 14th year and parades will be held in Edinburgh and Aberdeen.

In a statement to mark the occasion, Mr Jack said: “It’s fantastic to see the whole country unite for Armed Forces Day, a culmination of a week of activities to recognise the selfless service of our extraordinary UK military.

“It’s right that we celebrate and say thanks to our much-cherished community of service personnel, reserves, veterans, cadets and families for their unwavering commitment in helping keep us safe.

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“It was a pleasure to meet representatives of the Armed Forces at the Royal Highland Show in Edinburgh earlier this week and on behalf of the whole of the country, I would like to offer heartfelt thanks to them all.”

Military bands, veterans, and senior Armed Forces personnel will join a parade through Edinburgh to show support for servicemen, women, and their families.

The Depute Lord Provost Cllr Lezley Cameron will take part in the event, organised by Legion Scotland in partnership with the city council.

Starting in Charlotte Square, the Band of The Royal Regiment of Scotland, Royal Air Force Central Scotland Pipes and Drums, and Legion Scotland standard bearers will lead the parade along George Street at 10:15am.

They will march to St Andrew Square for a short address by the Depute Lord Provost. This will be followed by entertainment from both bands, Legion Scotland Sweetheart Amy Hawthorn, Fiona Liddle, Jack Hinks and Maria Townley. There will also a variety of stalls, including from Poppyscotland, Legion Scotland, and other charities.

Formerly known as “Veterans Day”, the annual event is marked each year around the UK and is a chance to pay tribute to the Armed Forces community.

Dr Claire Armstrong, Chief Executive of Legion Scotland, said: “This is a chance to come together and show our appreciation for all those who have served, past and present, and their families. It’s a day to remember the sacrifices that our Armed Forces make every day and commemorate their dedication and commitment.

“This is always an uplifting and morale-boosting event, and we’re especially delighted to return to normal after two difficult years. We’re pleased to be working with the City of Edinburgh Council and presenting an exciting and varied programme of entertainment.

“We’d encourage people throughout the city and beyond to come along, show their support, and enjoy a day out.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Defence Secretary Ben Wallace also voiced their appreciation for service personnel across the UK.

“Our Armed Forces are without doubt the best, most respected and most loved armed forces in the world,” the Prime Minister said.

Mr Wallace said: “Our service personnel and their families’ unwavering commitment to the defence of the United Kingdom ensures that we are kept safe, at home and abroad, 365 days a year.

“On this Armed Forces Day, I hope the entire nation will join me in saying thank-you to this community who make so many sacrifices to defend the freedoms and rights of the British people.”

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