Parades and parties took place across the UK today to celebrate the men and women of the armed forces community, past and present. In Stirling, the national event saw tens of thousands turn out to show their support as more than 400 service personnel, 1,200 veterans and 200 cadets marched through the city.
The event was attended by Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal who took the salute on behalf of the Queen. She said:
It is a pleasure to attend the Armed Forces Day national event in Stirling today. This event celebrates and expresses appreciation for the outstanding contribution the armed forces make to the country, and recognises the serving personnel, reservists, cadets and veterans from all 3 services, and their families.
The march included soldiers from 4th Battalion The Royal Regiment of Scotland who have recently returned from Afghanistan. Captain Frazer Stark was one of them. He said:
It’s great to be a part of the Armed Forces Day national event here in Stirling. Having just returned from operations in Afghanistan I know just how important it is for military personnel to know that the public support us. To be here today and see the overwhelming welcome from the people of Stirling is very humbling.
Following the parade was a drumhead service, a flypast of old and new military aircraft, including the Lancaster, Spitfire and Hurricane of the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, and an aerobatic display from the Red Arrows.
Representing the Chief of the Defence Staff in Stirling was Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach, Vice Chief of the Defence Staff. He said:
I am delighted that the city of Stirling is hosting the sixth Armed Forces Day national event, leading celebrations on behalf of the United Kingdom.
Armed Forces Day is a chance for people to say thank you to the men and women who make up the armed forces family for their unstinting courage and dedication in securing the United Kingdom, protecting her interests at home and abroad.
Other events taking place up and down the UK also took the opportunity to recognise the outstanding contribution made by the men and women of the armed forces.
On Centre Court at Wimbledon, spectators stood to applaud the service stewards who have been a permanent fixture at the championships since 1946, and, at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, soldiers working on the Bloodhound supersonic car project attracted a big crowd.