Armed Forces Day forces: Hundreds celebrate in Edinburgh

Hundreds lined the streets as Edinburgh celebrated Armed Forces Day.

Depute Lord Provost Cllr Lezley Cameron and Keith Brown, Cabinet Secretary for Justice and Veterans, joined veterans and city residents to celebrate Armed Forces Day.

Hundreds 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, with Legion Scotland standard bearers and veterans taking part.

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Cllr Cameron addressed the crowd in St Andrew Square, before a concert featuring both bands, Legion Scotland Sweetheart Amy Hawthorn, Fiona Liddle, Jack Hinks and Maria Townley.

The event, formerly known as “Veterans Day” was a chance to show appreciation and support for the work of the Armed Forces community. The city’s events were organised by Legion Scotland in partnership with the city council.

Cllr Cameron, whose father and uncle were in the Armed Forces, said: “Today’s event brought back thoughts and fond memories of family members and loved ones who have served.

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“It gives Edinburgh the opportunity to show support for the men and women who make up the Armed Forces community, recognising and celebrating the outstanding contribution of those who serve and have served.

Lord Provost of the City of Edinburgh Robert Aldridge (left) joins Cabinet Secretary for Justice and Veterans Keith Brown MSP (right) and senior military personnel, as well as Falklands veterans and members of the wider armed forces community, to remember the 40th anniversary of the end of the conflict, during a parade and service of remembrance in Edinburgh. Picture date: Saturday June 18, 2022.

“Armed Forces Day acknowledges the personal sacrifices they make and have made to defend the UK and its interests. All of us owe an incredible debt of gratitude to these brave men and women who are the ultimate protectors of our peace and security and our way of life.”

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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.”

The Duchess of Cambridge paid tribute on social media to “all the brave men and women” in the military on Armed Forces Day, thanking the armed forces and their families for the “sacrifice” they make to keep the UK safe.

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack has paid tribute to military personnel north of the border on Armed Forces Day.

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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.”