Armed Forces Day

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I shall be silently saluting my fallen comrades this Saturday when the nation remembers its servicemen and women on the annual Armed Forces Day.

The main event takes place in Edinburgh this year but I have read that other small events have been taking place up and down the country, including my home town of Winchester. The day itself is an opportunity to raise public awareness of the contribution made to our country by those who serve and have served in Her Majesty Armed Forces and it also gives us an opportunity to show our support for the men and women who make up the Armed Forces community.

A parade of up to 1,500 serving personnel, veterans and cadets will march down the Royal Mile from the Castle Esplanade to Holyrood Park in Edinburgh, attended by members of the Royal Family. The parade will end with a short ceremony of thanks "a Drumhead Ceremony" and this will be followed by a packed afternoon of events and entertainment for all the family, including flypasts by military aircraft, Highland dancing, music and a Veterans' Village. The day's celebrations will end with a Beating Retreat, a long-standing military tradition which now marks the end of a ceremonial occasion.

Wherever you are this weekend I would invite you to pause, just for a moment, and think of our guys sweating it out in the Middle East, hopefully bringing peace to that region. Once they do, lets bring them home and have a heck of a party!

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