Southport celebrated this year’s (2017) Armed Forces Day with a parade, a service and a Spitfire flypast. The event took place on Sunday, 25th June.
The event kicked off at 10 am with a Drumhead Service which was at the Princess Diana Memorial Gardens located in the town centre. The service was led by Padre the Venerable Arthur Siddal. In his sermon, he stated that there are many people in the world who are looking to take away what we have and will try to do so at all costs and that the armed forces were there to defend us in times when this is necessary with the aid of the police, paramedics, fire fighters and other security service providers. Many of these people were always on duty at any time of the year and it’s because of their sacrifice that we’re able to live in freedom and safety.
A parade followed which included a military band. The parade started at around 10.30am and ended at the Southport Town hall where it was inspected by Merseyside’s Deputy Lord Lieutenant and Sefton’s mayor.
People turned up in the hundreds along the street as they cheered the veterans, serving soldiers and cadets who were part of the parade. The event was organised by the Armed Forces Charity, SSAFA. The parade also went through Hill Street and Lord Street. Damien Moore, Southport’s new MP, Sefton Council leader Ian Maher and Bootl MP Peter Dowd were some of the dignitaries in attendance.
Entertainment followed the proceedings at the town hall as people enjoyed a Spitfire flypast and also music from several bands including The Mockingbirds, The Liverpool Shanty Kings and The George Formby Band. At the front of The Atkinson, visitors were also able to view several vintage and modern military vehicles.
Armed Forces Day is a day that is set aside to allow the public to show their support for the people who’ve served, those who serve and those who will serve in the armed forces in the future. Events are held in many locations across the country on this day and there are many ways for the public to get involved. Armed Forces Day celebrations are usually held on the last Saturday in the month of June. The celebrations usually start on the 25th of June. 27th of June is also set aside to recognise the efforts of the Reserve Forces.