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

Soldiers march past crosses (Ben Birchall/PA)
Soldiers march past crosses (Ben Birchall/PA)

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 were 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.

“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.”

In Edinburgh hundreds of people lined the streets as the Band of the Royal Regiment of Scotland and Royal Air Force Central Scotland Pipes and Drums led a parade along George Street.

Legion Scotland standard bearers and veterans also took part in the event.

Armed Forces Day parade
A parade took place in Edinburgh (Mark Owens/Legion Scotland/PA)

Dr Claire Armstrong, Chief Executive of Legion Scotland, said: “It was wonderful to see so many people coming out to show their support for all those who have served, past and present, and their families.

“After two difficult years, we were very pleased to return to normal and receive such a warm welcome in the city.

“I’d like to thank the City of Edinburgh Council for their support, and everyone else who helped to make this day a success.”

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.

“You are hugely admired by the people of this country – who cheered you most recently at the Jubilee celebrations – because they are so proud of everything you do to keep us safe.

Soldiers in training
Armed Forces Day celebrates serving personnel, reserves, veterans, cadets and their families (PA)

“You are there for us and our country when we need you, whether you are watching the skies, patrolling the seas or standing over our interests.

“Thank-you to everyone in the vast military family. Thank-you to our incredible veterans. And thank-you to the family and friends whose support is so crucial to ensuring that we have the best fighting force anywhere in the world.”

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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