Thousands expected to show support for Armed Forces

Edinburgh is gearing up for a packed day of events tomorrow [Saturday 30 June] in West Princes Street Gardens as Armed Forces Day celebrations kick-off around the country.

Celebrations will start from 1pm as the annual parade of, veterans and cadets will move off from Kings Stables Road along to the Ross Theatre in Princes Street Gardens.

A variety of different events will then be hosted in the gardens until 5pm. Highlights include a flypast by a Royal Air Force Typhoon, entertainment from acts such as the Kennedy Cupcakes and the SCOTS Mil Afghan Rock Band, as well as inflatable assault courses and bouncy castles.

Events will last throughout the day and round off at 5pm with the Ceremony of Beating Retreat.

The Rt Hon Donald Wilson, Lord Lieutenant, Lord Provost of the City of Edinburgh and Veterans Champion said: "Our military service personnel and veterans deserve recognition for the immense sacrifice they make day in and day out to keep this country and its people safe.  Holding a day of celebration in their honour is just one of the ways the City can thank them.

Edinburgh is looking forward to welcoming hundreds of veterans to Princes Street Gardens for a fun, family-friendly event to celebrate these men and women's bravery and dedication to duty".

Armed Forces Day is the annual, national campaign that allows everyone to show their support for the men and women of the Armed Forces past and present, including currently serving troops, Service families, Reservists, veterans and cadets.

Kevin Gray, spokesperson for the Royal British Legion Scotland, said: "We are proud and delighted to take part in Armed Forces' Day. The Legion regards the event as one of the most important parts of its year when we can come together as a nation and pay tribute to the grit and professionalism of our Forces.

"Recent years have put extraordinary pressure on our Servicemen and women, it's only right that we can, once a year, acknowledge their extraordinary achievements. It is also one of the rare opportunities to involve all the families, an important part of the Services' community and one should never be forgotten.

"It's a day of togetherness with all the ex-Service charities participating while serving members of the Armed Forces and veterans march together. We see it as a fun day too, a celebration not solemn commemoration. Let's salute and celebrate!"

Similar events have been taking place across the UK, enabling people to come out and show their support, and giving a much-valued morale boost for Armed Forces personnel and their families. This year's national event took place in the City of Plymouth.

The UK Armed Forces defend the country and its interests. Every day of the year they are busy working around the world, promoting peace, delivering aid, tackling drug smugglers and providing security and fighting terrorism.

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