Organisers hail success of 12th annual Lowestoft Armed Forces Day
- Credit: Archant
Veterans, families and serving troops came together as hundreds of people gathered in Lowestoft to show support for the men and women who make up the armed forces.
The bravery of service personnel in the past and present was honoured as those who have fought and died for their country were thanked and remembered on an emotional day.
People from across Waveney turned out to show their respect at the 12th annual Lowestoft Armed Forces Day military tattoo as numerous activities, stands, demonstrations and displays transformed Royal Green in Lowestoft for the day.
The crowds gathered on Saturday to watch a full drumhead service conducted by the Rev Michael Asquith, with a welcome speech by the guest of honour, Deputy Lieutenant for Suffolk, Major Philip Hope-Cobbold.
Prayers were said for military service personnel past, present and future, while a range of organisations took part in a parade of standard bearers as music was played by the City of Norwich Pipe Band and the Salvation Army Band (Lowestoft).
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A series of displays, demonstrations and performances took centre stage in the main arena, with the Band of HM Royal Marines Collingwood performing on Royal Green for the first-ever time in the morning and afternoon. The Norwich Pipe Band, ATC Band and the Salvation Army band all displayed stunning skills in the main arena, and there was also a US Air Force Honor Guard, military vehicle display and the Army bomb disposal unit 33 Engineer Regiment 821 Squadron carried out a special display.
Charities and organisations like the Royal British Legion and Blesma, the military charity for limbless veterans, held stalls to raise awareness about their work, while visitors were able to see Terry Arlow's replica Spitfire, try out equipment used by the Army on the ground and speak with local serving forces personnel.
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Waveney MP Peter Aldous said the Lowestoft event 'goes from strength to strength' each year.
'The Lowestoft Armed Forces Day Committee has put an awful lot of hard work into this event, and they have done the town proud,' he said. 'The fine turnout is indicative of the respect that people have for our armed forces. The service is always extremely poignant and it is very special to see so many people taking part'
'Real pride in Lowestoft'
The successful event attracted a fine turnout, as hundreds of people descended on Royal Green.
And delighted with how the day had gone, Victoria Schofield – from the Lowestoft Armed Forces Day committee, who all volunteer to organise the event – said: 'Thrilled is an understatement. To have the Band of Her Majesty's Royal Marines Collingwood to perform in Lowestoft is out of this world.
'This is such a great event, which shows that there is real pride in Lowestoft. We are so grateful to Lings Honda, based in Lowestoft, for helping to sponsor the event.'
The organising committee is now working towards the 2018 Lowestoft event, but they are looking to find more people who are interested in joining the organising committee.
Anyone interested in getting involved can visit the Lowestoft Armed Forces Facebook page or email email@example.com