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Aberdeenshire marks Armed Forces Day 2017

Veterans look on as Lord Provost Bill Howatson raises the Armed Forces Day flag at Aberdeenshire Council's HQ in Aberdeen  in 2017
Veterans look on as Lord Provost Bill Howatson raises the Armed Forces Day flag at Aberdeenshire Council's HQ in Aberdeen in 2017

Aberdeenshire Council marked the beginning of Armed Forces Week yesterday with a flag-raising ceremony at the authority’s Aberdeen HQ.

Lord Provost Bill Howatson addressed an assembled crowd of north-east veterans and praised the ongoing support of troops both “at home and abroad”.

Presiding over the event outside Woodhill House, Mr Howatson said he recognised the importance of the security services, especially in the aftermath of “recent tragic events”.

He added: “Today, we salute the efforts of our service personnel as they work tirelessly to promote peace, deliver humanitarian aid and, above all, provide security that we sometimes take for granted.

“National security has never been more important following recent tragic events across the country and our forces have supported police forces across the UK in response to terrorist incidents in Manchester and London.

“Our thoughts are very much with those communities and many in the Armed Forces and wider emergency and defence services continue to counter terrorism, create peace and keep us safe, for which we are deeply grateful.”

Aberdeenshire has more than 4,000 veterans and Mr Howatson praised the community groups who are working to help support and integrate them.

He added: “Many projects have been undertaken, including a Men’s Shed within the Banchory British Legion building that encourages veterans to reconnect with their communities as well as the development of hubs across Aberdeenshire.”

The Armed Forces Day parade will march down Union Street on Saturday, June 24 beginning at 11am and ending on the Castlegate at midday.

A family event will follow at the Bridge of Don barracks which includes historic military vehicles, the Paragon freefall display team and a range of other attractions.

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