City Hall ceremony honours British Armed Forces

20 June 2016

The Mayor of London and the London Assembly joined members of the British Armed Forces today (Monday 20 June) for a flag-raising ceremony at City Hall, to honour the bravery and commitment of service personnel past and present, ahead of Armed Forces Day.

The annual flag-raising ceremony of thanks and remembrance was also an opportunity to mark the centenary of the forthcoming Battle of the Somme and was attended by members of the Forces along with veterans, reserves, cadets and representatives from military charities. The Chairman of the London Assembly Tony Arbour and senior military figures took part in the ceremony with the Band of the Coldstream Guards performing at the event for the first time. Lieutenant Colonel David Utting from London District HQ gave a joint military response. The Armed Forces flag was raised by two cadets from the 56 (Woolwich) Squadron Air Training Corps.

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “Armed Forces Day is a time to pay respect to those who have tirelessly committed their lives to protecting our country and our way of life. It is also an opportunity to give due credit to the many organisations who look after existing and former members of the forces.

“We should never underestimate the extraordinary value of our Armed Forces and their dedication to keeping our country safe and peaceful, especially now as we go through a time of heightened security. This year we honour those who fought at the Battle of the Somme 100 years ago, and as we raise the Armed Forces flag at City Hall today, we remember the incredible bravery and selflessness of all the men and women who have served our country and continue to do so every day of every year.”

Tony Arbour AM, Chairman of the London Assembly, said: “There have been too many days when we have been reminded of the sacrifice that the Armed Forces make on our behalf. Not just in the dim and distant past, but in the here and now. On behalf of the London Assembly, I am proud to remember and give thanks for the service and sacrifice of veterans and serving personnel at our flag raising ceremony.  As Chairman, I underline our commitment to supporting the Armed Forces and reaffirm the promises we made in our Armed Forces Community Covenant.”

Notes to editors

1.      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.  The national event will take place in Cleethorpes, North East Lincolnshire on Saturday 25th June, with other events being held across the country throughout the week. Visit www.armedforcesday.org.uk for more information.

2.      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.

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