Secretary of State for Wales Cheryl Gillan will honour the contribution and dedication of veterans and serving military personnel at the Armed Forces Day celebrations in Cardiff (30 June 2012).
Hundreds of spectators are expected to mark the occasion in the capital which will include a spectacular range of air displays from the RAF Falcons and RAF Dakota, together with the traditional Veterans Parade and Drum Head Service.
The 2012 celebrations will coincide with the 30th anniversary of the Falklands conflict, in which the Welsh Guards played a prominent role. It will also mark the 60th anniversary of the Welch Regiment’s involvement in the Korean War.
Mrs Gillan yesterday (29 June) recorded a message of support for troops during a visit to the British Forces Broadcasting Services (BFBS) at its transmission base at Chalfont Grove in Buckinghamshire.
Speaking ahead of the Armed Forces Day celebrations, she said:
“Armed Forces Day allows people to reflect upon, and honour the contribution made by all who serve or have served in the British Military.
“In Wales, we have a special connection with our Armed Forces and we owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to those who work tirelessly, often in difficult circumstances, to defend our values and way of life.
“I had the wonderful opportunity of visiting HMS Dragon - one of six Type 45 Destroyers which have recently been built for the Royal Navy - while it was docked in Cardiff in March earlier this year. It was a privilige to be on board one of the largest, most powerful and effective multi role destroyers in the world.
“The British Armed Forces Day flag is already flying proudly above Gwydyr House in Whitehall as an expression of our support and thanks, and I’m delighted to have the opportunity to be here in Cardiff to meet some of these inspiring people, and I hope people will join in with the events and celebrations taking place.”
More information on Armed Forces Day is available at www.armedforcesday.org.uk
Welsh Secretary’s message to the troops on British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS)
“**As we celebrate Armed Forces Day, I wanted to express my own personal thanks for the contribution and the unyielding dedication you show every day to defend our values, security and way of life.
“We owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to you for the personal sacrifices you make and for the stresses and strains both you and your families endure on our behalf.
“In Wales, we have a special connection with Armed Forces. I am looking forward to joining the Armed Forces Day celebrations in Cardiff tomorrow, where we will all have the opportunity to reflect upon, and honour the contribution made by all those who serve, or have served in the British Military.
“Your commitment does not go unnoticed, and I send my thoughts, prayers and well wishes to you and your families on behalf of Wales, and from all those celebrating Armed Forces Day across the UK this weekend.”