Epping Forest District Council has raised the Armed Forces Day flag in acknowledgement of Armed Forces Day, which takes place on Saturday 27 June 2020.
Tradition dictates that Armed Forces Day flags are raised on the Monday before Armed Forces Day, marking the start of a week of awareness for our armed services.
The week is a chance for us to show our support for the men and women that make up our Armed Forces community; from currently serving troops to service families, veterans and cadets.
These are the people that defend the UK and its interests, working around the world, promoting peace, delivering aid, tackling drug smugglers, providing security and fighting terrorism.
Epping Forest District Council’s Chairman, Councillor Helen Kane, didn’t miss the opportunity to show her support for our Armed Forces this year.
Despite many of the planned celebrations being cancelled due to COVID-19, she recorded a heartfelt message from her home.
Chairman Helen Kane said:
Epping Forest along with many other councils around the country, will today be raising the Armed Forces flag as part of the countrywide celebrations to honour Britain’s Armed forces.
I am honoured, as Chairman of Epping Forest District Council, to be here to celebrate Armed Forces Day with you. In Epping today at the Civic Offices, we will raise the Armed Forces Day flag, which will continue to fly over the offices this week.
Armed Forces Day gives us the opportunity to show our support for those currently serving, for the veterans, for the reservists, for the cadets and all their families. It is also a chance to show our support to those who have suffered injuries or illness that are a result of their service in the British Armed Forces. No one is to be forgotten.
This year we commemorated the 75th Anniversary of VE Day and despite the effect of COVID-19 we still manged to show our appreciation to those who in the past sacrificed their way of life to ensure we all enjoy the life we hope to return to very soon.
Many of us had tea parties on our front gardens or dressed our homes in red, white and blue but we all still maintained social distancing. Something sadly, we will all still have to follow for many months to come.
We owe an incredible debt of gratitude to the brave men and women of our Armed Forces. They are the ultimate protectors of our peace and security and indeed, of our whole way of life. They are not there just to protect us from conflict but are often there on the front line of natural or man-made disasters.
As a nation, we all stand together whatever the situation and today we continue to be indebted to those who today risk their lives in many places around the world and to the veterans whose service we will never forget and always honour.
As an organisation we have signed up to the Armed Forces Community Covenant to recognise and remember the sacrifices made by members of this Armed Forces Community. Three of our councillors are our Armed Forces Champions; Councillors Jean Lee, Brian Rolfe and Stephen Murray were all chosen for their significant links to the military.
Earlier this year a number of employees from the district council attended a Veterans Mental Health Awareness training session, to increase awareness and gain a better understanding of issues often faced by veterans after leaving the armed services.
Armed Forces Week
Each day of this week will be dedicated to different parts of the military.
Wednesday 24 June 2020 is earmarked to recognise our Reserve Forces.
Reservists give up their spare time to serve in the Reserve Forces, balancing civilian life with a military career to ensure should their country require them, they would be ready to serve as part of the military. Their contribution often goes unrecognised and as such the annual Reserves Day was created to highlight their valuable contribution.
Thursday 25 June is Veterans Day. A veteran is anyone who has served in the HM Armed Forces at any time and Armed Forces Day celebrates their continued role within the military community.
You can find out more information about support for veterans on the Verterans-UK website or by calling Veretans UK on 0808 1914218.
Friday 26 June is Cadet Day. The Cadet Forces including Sea Cadets, Army Cadets, Air Cadets and the Combined Cadet Force, currently support over 130,000 young people across the UK. Cadets learn life and career building skills as well as gaining vocational qualifications.
Unfortunately this years Armed Forces Day National Event hosted by Scarborough Borough Council has been cancelled due to COVID-19, but there are still a number of ways you can mark the day and get involved.
Please visit the Armed Forces Day website to find out more.
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