Above: The Armed Forces Day flag is flying at County Hall from today. Mike Kapur OBE, the Lord Lieutenant of Leicestershire, is pictured, centre, with RAF veteran Roy Rudham, left, and Richard Hurwood, Deputy Lieutenant
Leicester and Leicestershire will be marking Armed Forces Day 2020 at the weekend with a digital celebration.
On Saturday (27th June), the nation comes together to show its appreciation and support for those within the Armed Forces community, including serving troops and their families, reservists, veterans and cadets.
The annual occasion is usually celebrated with parades, services of thanksgiving and community events.
But, this year, the Covid-19 pandemic and certain restrictions have meant the celebration has had to move online.
Here in Leicestershire, the city and county councils, together with the Lieutenancy Office and local armed forces units, have been working hard to come up with an alternative way to celebrate Armed Forces Day.
The result is the creation of a new website packed full of content paying tribute to our armed forces, including video messages, footage and images from past parades, a spotlight on the veterans who have raised the Armed Forces Day flag in previous years and information from local armed forces units.
Mike Kapur OBE, the Lord-Lieutenant of Leicestershire, and Pam Posnett MBE, chairman of Leicestershire County Council, have both created video messages in which they talk about the importance of Armed Forces Day, while Group Captain Jo Lincoln, Station Commander at RAF Wittering, also thanks the public for the support they give to the Armed Forces.
There is also a poster which the people of Leicester and Leicestershire are being encouraged to print off and put in their windows in the run-up to Armed Forces Day 2020 to show their support for our forces.
Leicestershire is also supporting the national #SaluteOurForces campaign, which calls on people from all walks of life to post pictures and videos of them saluting in tribute.
The new website has lots of fascinating facts about the history of the salute, as well as short video clips from members of all three services demonstrating the subtle differences between their salutes.
Dozens of people have contributed pictures across the Leicester and Leicestershire communities – including Leicester City Football Club stars Harvey Barnes, Demarai Gray, James Justin and James Maddison, as well as Leicester Riders head coach Rob Paternostro and captain Andy Thomson.
Mike Kapur OBE, said: “It’s important for us to take a moment to recognise our Armed Forces, their service to the country, and the sacrifices that they make to keep us safe.
"This year in particular we can take this opportunity to thank them all for their contribution to the Covid-19 response.”
It is a great honour and privilege to be part of this national event to honour our armed forces and to show our appreciation for their vital service and dedication.Person:Pam Posnett, MBE, county council chairman
Armed Forces Day is a way for us to join with people across the country to show our support for those men and women who currently serve – both regular and reserve – and to remember those who have served in the past
The digital celebrations for Armed Forces Day 2020 – including information on how to get involved in the #SaluteOurForces campaign – can be found at www.leicestershire.gov.uk/armed-forces-day