Armed Forces Day celebrates its 11th year
Salisbury gears up to lead the nation in recognising the contribution of our Armed Forces.
Launched in 2009, Armed Forces Day is gearing up for its 11th year with events across the UK. This year, Armed Forces Day is on Saturday 29 June.
With its origins in Veterans Day (an event held since 2006), Armed Forces Day is a chance for the British public to show support for the men and women who make up the Armed Forces community: from currently serving troops to Service families, veterans and cadets. There are many ways for people, communities and organisations across the country to show their support and get involved www.armedforcesday.org.uk/get-involved, from attending an event to throwing a party or local event.
This year’s national event will take place in Salisbury, Wiltshire on Saturday 29 June. Celebrations begin on Monday 24 June when the Armed Forces Day flag is raised on buildings and famous landmarks around the country.
Reserves Day, www.armedforcesday.org.uk/reserves-day on 26 June, will also provide an important opportunity for the country to recognise our Reserve Forces.
Each year a different town or city has the honour of hosting the national event, becoming a focal point for the day with dozens of smaller events taking place locally across the UK.
The national event
The national event in 2019 will be held in Salisbury in Wiltshire. Salisbury has many links with the military. Following the nerve agent attack in the city in March 2018, military teams worked tirelessly, alongside the emergency services, to support the recovery of the city. It is also home to many Army bases including Bulford Camp, Tidworth Camp and Salisbury Plain, one of the UK’s biggest military training areas.
On Saturday 29 June serving military personnel, veterans, cadets and bands will march through the streets of Salisbury to signal the start of the Armed Forces Day celebrations.
Following the parade, a range of activities will take place in the Hudson Field area of the city with a military village dedicated to all three services. In these areas a range of military equipment will be showcased ranging from static aircraft to a variety of tanks, armoured vehicles and more. Military demonstrations and displays will take place throughout the day with everything from fly pasts to combat drills and more to be announced.
The Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson commented: “Following the appalling chemical attack in March the decision to have Salisbury host Armed Forces Day 2019 was an easy one to make.
“I am certain the city will honour the troops who work tirelessly to protect us from the threats that we face at home and abroad. The people of Salisbury have shown extraordinary resilience in the face of great adversity caused by the Kremlin’s extremely irresponsible actions. The hosting of this national event will reinforce that the city is very much open for business.”
Why host such a day in support of our men and women in uniform?Showing support for the Armed Forces provides a much valued morale boost for troops and their families. The UK Armed Forces defend the UK and her interests 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. They are busy working around the world, promoting peace, delivering aid, tackling drug smugglers, providing security and fighting terrorism.
Armed Forces Day brings together people of all ages from all over the UK to publicly thank the members of our Armed Forces for their bravery, their dedication and sacrifices they make for every one of us on a daily basis.
But those who are currently serving are not the complete extent of the Armed Forces community that this day seeks to recognise. Cadets, veterans and reservists are also represented.
Our Armed Forces couldn’t do their job without the incredible support of their family and friends, and Armed Forces Day rightly recognises their contribution.
Although this year’s national event will take place in Salisbury, regional celebrations will also be held across the country, giving the public a chance to thank the Armed Forces for their contribution to the nation.
In 2018, more than 300 Armed Forces Day celebrations were held across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Over 95 of these were supported with funding from the Ministry of Defence.