For more than a decade here in Leicester and Leicestershire we have celebrated Armed Forces Day with a service at Leicester Cathedral and a parade of service personnel, veterans and cadets through the city centre.
It isn’t possible to celebrate in this way this year as we all must continue to be alert to the Coronavirus and maintain social distancing, but there will be a digital celebration.
For 2020 we have looked at what we can do online to ensure that we continue to show our support to the Armed Forces family.
The importance of Armed Forces Day
Lord-Lieutenant, Mike Kapur, and Group Captain Jo Lincoln, Station Commander RAF Wittering, talk about the importance of the Armed Forces Day and offer their thanks to people for their support:
Armed Forces Day flag raising
The Armed Forces Day flag will still be hoisted at many public buildings on Monday 22 June, and will be flown throughout the week.
The Chairman of the County Council, Pam Posnett, explains the significance of raising the flag
We traditionally hoist the Armed Forces Day flag at locations across the city and county on the Monday preceding Armed Forces Day. This is a time to announce the start of a week dedicated to honouring our Armed Forces and is usually an opportunity to honour a distinguished veteran, who is invited to hoist the flag.
It is not possible to stage this event this year, and so we have put together a collage of ceremonies from the past five years.
View the gallery of past ceremonies
Tribute to veterans
We pay tribute here to those veterans (some of whom are sadly no longer with us, and who we remember with fondness) who have hoisted the Armed Forces Day flag, over the past five years and who are featured in this gallery:
Show your support
Whilst council offices will be flying the Armed Forces Day (AFD) flag, everyone can show their support by printing our A4 poster and displaying it in their window, whether that is at home, or at work.
If you do have a flagpole, the AFD flag is available to purchase online.
Salute our Forces
If you're on social media, you can pay tribute to the British Armed Forces community for their hard work, dedication and efforts to keep us safe in the UK and across the globe. At this current time we also remember our many veterans who are resident in care homes - let us show that they are not forgotton.
To join in, simply send us a photo or video of yourself or your friends and colleagues saluting.
You can submit your images in a couple of ways:
- Tweet us or reply to our tweets @LeicsLieutenant using #SaluteOurForces
- or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We will then post your photo on our Flickr site.
Saluting like Service Personnel
The technique for saluting in the Navy, Army and RAF is demonstrated in these short video clips below:
For our @LeicsLieutenant #SaluteOurForces Twitter campaign, it's not necessary to offer a precise salute. We just want to capture the spirit in which your salute is given. Please do get children involved as well.
What it means to serve in the Armed Forces
Each year at our traditional Cathedral service, we hear from a serving member of the Armed Forces who talks about their motivation for joining up and the challenges and rewards from serving as a member of the Armed Forces, which is always a highlight of the service.
This year we are pleased to bring you a video message from Private Paige Eagle, who serves with the Veterinary Training Squadron at the Defence Animal Training Regiment, based in Melton Mowbray. Watch the video where Paige talks about her role and experiences
We also hear from Sgt Aaron Harding, from 2 Company 3rd Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment The Steelbacks talking here about his time in the Army, including acting as pallbearer for King Richard III. Watch Aaron’s video
Working on the NHS frontline
Leading Naval Nurse, Alastair Fawkes, based at HMS Sherwood
Reservist Leading Naval Nurse, Alastair Lewis Fawkes, who works full-time as an A&E Deputy Charge Nurse at Leicester Royal Infirmary, has been called up to support the front Line NHS staff on the battle against Coronavirus.
Corporal Louise Fowler
31 year old Army Reservist Corporal Louise Fowler, RAMC CMT is working as an Operating Department Practitioner (ODP) within the Trauma Orthopaedic team at Leicester Royal Infirmary (LRI).
Private Alexander Bland
Private Alexander Bland serves as a Registered Nurse and is a part of 222 (Leicester) Medical Squadron.
Lance Corporal Christina Roberts
Lance Corporal Christina Roberts serves as a Combat Medical Technician in the Army Reserves as part of 222 (Leicester) Squadron.
The cadet movement provides fantastic opportunities for our young people, who usually play a very active part in our Armed Forces Day celebrations. We invited a cadet and cadet leader to talk to us about their experiences of the cadet movement.
Cadet Leader, Daniel McGlynn talks about what motivates him to lead a Cadet Squadron in Melton Mowbray.
We also hear from one of the Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadets, Warrant Officer Samuel Page who talks about life as a cadet
Highlights from previous years
Relive the 2019 parade with video footage posted by Leicester Media:
We have put together a collection of images from previous years. You can view the slideshow on our Flickr gallery
We hope to bring back our Armed Forces Day service and parade next year. Thank you for getting involved in our virtual celebration and we would like to say 'We Salute You' to all our service personnel.