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Armed Forces Day makes ‘very emotional’ return to Aberdeen

Aberdeen city centre was filled with the sound of pipes and drums as serving personnel, veterans and cadet forces marched down Union Street to mark Armed Forces Day.

Armed Forces Day returned to Aberdeen on Saturday and hundreds of spectators, both young and old, lined the streets to show their respect.

As the sun shone down on the Granite City, vintage bikes rumbled down from Albyn Place to Castlegate, tooting their horns as they went.

The motorbikes rode down Union Street waving flags and banners. Picture by Kath Flannery

They were then followed by massed pipes and drums, filling the air with music and setting the tempo for the marching military personnel and cadet forces.

Finally, the parade was followed by military vehicles carrying veterans down the Granite Mile.

Military vehicles followed the marching personnel. Picture by Chris Sumner.

When the parade passed the Town House, Lord Lieutenant David Cameron saluted alongside other top military personnel.

Lord Lieutenant David Cameron and military personnel salute the parade. Picture by Kath Flannery.

The 2nd Hilton Rainbows and 47th Aberdeen Girl Guides were handing out flags for the public to wave.

One side of the flag was designed by Sunnybank School pupil Zuzanna Bolkowska, 12, as part of a competition organised by Aberdeen City Council.

Veterans in military vehicles waved the flags designed by the school girl. Picture by Chris Sumner.

‘It’s history’

Many were pleased to see the return of Armed Forces Day to the city centre, describing it as “important” and “emotional”.

People lined the streets to enjoy the sun and wave their flags for the parade as it passed by. Picture by Kath Flannery.

Roselyn Bertran, 62, explained that her dad was in the Royal Navy during the Second World War making the parade a special event for her.

“I found it very emotional,” she said. “We come every year to pay our respects.”

Her friend, Trena Clunes also watches the parade every year and believes it’s important to share the day with young people.

The 70-year-old said: “It was lovely and a great day – very emotional. It’s history.”

Military personnel marching along Union Street. Picture by Kath Flannery.

For some, it was their first time ever seeing Armed Forces Day.

Alexandra Koberts and her family just arrived in Aberdeen from Ukraine two days ago.

The massed pipes and drums entertained the crowds. Picture by Kath Flannery.

The 40-year-old said they all loved the music and uniforms describing it as “absolutely awesome” to watch.

Bibin John, 29, also enjoyed watching the parade and said he was “fortunate” to see it.

“The motorcycle rally was really nice to watch,” he added.

‘We did pretty well’

Aleks Rennie and Boyd Shaw of Squadron 875 marched in the parade for the first time.

This year was the first chance 12-year-old Boyd Shaw from Squadron 875 was able to take part in the parade.

He said: “It was fun, but a bit scary.

It was also the first time taking part for Aleks Rennie who is in the same squadron.

The 12-year-old said: “It was good, we could have marched a bit better though because it was hard to hear right at the back.

“But we did pretty well.”

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