London honours Armed Forces at City Hall flag raising ceremony
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson was joined by members of the London Assembly, the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force to honour the bravery and commitment of the Armed Forces in a flag raising ceremony.
Accompanied by musicians from the Royal Anglian Regiment, the Armed Forces Day flag outside City Hall was raised by two cadets to commemorate the sacrifices made by those serving the country, in the lead up to Armed Forces Day next Saturday.
Mayor of London, Boris Johnson said: “We are raising the Armed Forces Day flag in honour of all the brave men and women who tirelessly serve their country to keep us safe, in particular those serving in Afghanistan. Our servicemen and women are a key part of all London’s communities and today’s event is particularly important following the shocking events in Woolwich. This was an appalling, unforgivable act and no words could ever successfully convey the sadness and horror felt across the capital. Londoners continue to come together during difficult times, and as a world city that leads by example we are rightly dedicated to supporting members of the Armed Forces and their families during and after their time in service.”
Chair of the London Assembly, Darren Johnson, said: “As Patron of the City Hall Branch of the Royal British Legion I am proud to remember the service and sacrifice of veterans and serving personnel at our flag raising ceremony. As Chair of the London Assembly I am pleased to underline our commitment to supporting our Armed Forces and honouring the promises we have made in our Armed Forces Community Covenant. This year’s flag raising will be particularly poignant following the awful murder of Drummer Lee Rigby. London’s reaction to those events in Woolwich demonstrated the gratitude, esteem and unity of Londoners in support for the men and women of our Armed Services.”
Deputy Commander of London District, the Army Headquarters in London, Brigadier Richard Smith, said: “This Saturday is Armed Forces Day, an annual day of public support and appreciation - now in its fifth year - of all those who serve and have served in HM Armed Forces. It provides an opportunity for the UK public to recognise the contribution that serving personnel, veterans and cadets make and have made to the nation. But it’s also an opportunity for us to say thank you to the people of London. We recognise and are grateful for the huge support we get, and we want to reaffirm our support for the local communities in which we serve. The presence of soldiers, sailors and airmen at Flag Raising ceremonies across the capital today is a clear sign of the Armed Forces’ enduring relationship with the people of London and it is fantastic to see the Armed Forces Day flag now flying so proudly outside City Hall.”
Notes to editors
- Armed Forces Day is an annual opportunity to raise public awareness of the contribution made to our country by those who serve and have served in Her Majesty's Armed Forces. A national event will be held on Saturday 29 June, with several events being held across the country next week.
- The Community Covenant: The Greater London Authority (GLA) marked its commitment to supporting the Armed Forces by signing a Community Covenant on behalf of Londoners at City Hall on Monday, 25 June 2012. The Community Covenant is a voluntary statement of mutual support between a civilian community and its local Armed Forces Community. It is intended to complement the Armed Forces Covenant, which outlines the moral obligation between the Nation, the Government and the Armed Forces, at the local level. The Community Covenant was signed on behalf of the GLA by Mayor of London Boris Johnson, and the former Chair of the London Assembly Jennette Arnold AM, plus representatives from the Metropolitan Police Service, the London Fire Brigade and Transport for London. Senior officers representing the Army, Royal Navy, Royal Air Force and Reserves & Cadets also signed the Community Covenant on behalf of London’s Armed Services.