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'Increasingly those that served are dying and we should honour them whilst they are still here' - Town's tribute to Armed Forces

PUBLISHED: 16:06 25 June 2019 | UPDATED: 16:07 25 June 2019

Downham Market Armed Forces flag raised by Jenny Groom, Deputy Mayor at Downham town council

Downham Market Armed Forces flag raised by Jenny Groom, Deputy Mayor at Downham town council

Archant

Armed Forces Week marked in Downham Market by flag raising ceremony.

A Norfolk town has paid tribute to veterans and serving Armed Forces personnel with a flag raising ceremony.

Member of the Royal British Legion Downham and District Branch and veterans gathered in the town square at Downham Market to mark the start of Armed Forces Week.

The Armed Forces flag was raised from the Town Hall flagstaff by the town's deputy mayor, Jenny Groom, who said she was particularly proud to be part of the ceremony on Monday, June 24.

Mrs Groom said: "This day is very important, increasingly those that served are dying and we should honour them whilst they are still here.

"People do not understand what the armed forces do, we still have those intimate connections with those that served in the Second World War and it is important to commemorate them whilst we can and whilst we still have the Armed Forces.

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"My father was an army veteran and even after service he would go around the world promoting the forces and so days like today are significant to me."

The ceremony has started a week-long commemoration which will culminate in an Armed Forces Day from 9.30am to 3pm on Saturday, June 29.

The event, which will be held at the Downham Market Town Hall, is open to everyone and is free to attend.

Mike Bailey, vice chairman of the Downham British Legion branch, said: "We do this every year religiously to celebrate our veterans.

"Local stalls will be present to promote their services and we encourage that as that is what Downham is all about, coming together to support one another.

"We're trying to recruit more young people and so during the week we visit schools to let them know who we are and tell them what we are all about."

Elizabeth Davies, from the Downham British Legion branch, was this year's standard bearer.

The 21-year-old said: "It is really important to remember the sacrifice that was made for us and it's important as young people to keep that going to commemorate those that served and still serve."

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