PEOPLE are being encouraged to show their support for our forces during a patriotic parade in Hartlepool.
A march and service featuring numerous ex-servicemen will be held around the town’s Historic Quay for National Armed Forces Day on Saturday, June 29.
Organisers, the Hartlepool Combined Ex-Servicemen’s Association, are expecting a strong turnout from the public this year following the shocking murder of Drummer Lee Rigby in London last month.
Tug Wilson, secretary of the association, said: “I think due to the recent events concerning Drummer Rugby there will be a lot of support all over the country for the day.
“It is important to remember what the armed services do. Hopefully we will get a good turnout of ex-servicemen in the parade.
“A lot of veterans are disabled and elderly and cannot make the parade, but we will have strong support from the Royal Air Force Association, and air force cadets and sea cadets.
“The more members of the public that participate as well the better as it gives the guys in the forces some sign that what they do is appreciated.”
Armed Forces Day is now in its sixth year and was created to honour all those who have served or are serving in the forces.
Anyone wishing to take part in the parade is welcome to meet at the car park near the Jackson’s Wharf pub, at the marina, by 10.40am.
The parade will then march to Hartlepool’s Maritime Experience where a service will be held alongside HMS Trincomalee at 11am.
Anyone wishing to attend the service only, should meet at HMS Trincomalee for 10.50am.
Hartlepool MP Iain Wright has also called for the country to use the day to pay tribute to Drummer Lee Rigby.
Mr Wright previously said: “Members of the armed forces put their lives on the line every single day for our freedom and one gets killed like this in such a barbaric manner.
“The fact that a serving soldier was slaughtered in the street in the UK should bring an added poignance to Armed Forces Day and I hope the country demonstrates how strongly everyone feels about horrific acts such as the one in Woolwich.”
l TOWN pupils remember war dead on a poignant trip to France: Pages 20 and 29.