Armed Forces Day

Armed Forces Day 2019: Salisbury Celebrates National Event

Armed Forces Day 2019 has been celebrated by host city Salisbury and military communities around the UK and overseas.

The annual event is a chance for the whole country to celebrate the work of service personnel, reservists, veterans, cadets and their families and friends.

Salisbury is hosting the occasion's national event, following Liverpool and Llandudno in recent years, with other celebrations being held around the world.

On what was forecast to be the hottest day of the year in the UK, Princess Anne took the salute during a parade of more than 1,300 service personnel, cadets and veterans through Salisbury.

The parade, which you can watch back in full here, also featured a flypast performed by the Red Arrows.

In a recorded message to mark Armed Forces Day, Prime Minister Theresa May said she is "proud" to celebrate the event and paid tribute to the "wonderful men and women who serve".

Armed Forces Day
The Red Arrows performed a flypast during the parade.

Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt also attended the celebrations and met serving personnel in the military village in Salisbury's Hudson's Field.

Ms Mordaunt told Forces News that Armed Forces Day is about thanking the military.

"Salisbury has always had an amazing connection to our armed forces," she said.

"I remember visiting Salisbury just a couple of weeks after the [nerve agent attack] last year, and it's done an amazing job as a city - it's really pulled together, all of the services and agencies here, providing that reassurance.

"The public coming in at these events, it gives them their chance to say 'thank you' to our armed forces who stepped in, provided that reassurance, clearly did some really difficult jobs over those weeks and months - it's their chance to say thank you to those people."

Watch: Princess Anne visited the military village in Salisbury after the parade finished.

The two remaining candidates for the Conservative Party leadership have both tweeted to mark Armed Forces Day.

Jeremy Hunt thanked the armed forces and reaffirmed his pledge to boost defence spending by £15 billion if he becomes prime minister, while Boris Johnson said it was "an honour" to meet members of the armed forces at a flag-raising ceremony in Ellesmere, Shropshire.

After watching the parade through Salisbury, the chief executive of forces charity SSAFA and former British Army officer Lieutenant General Sir Andrew Gregory said: "Fewer and fewer people in this country have direct contact with somebody who is serving or has served.

"A day like today, where they can see men and women in our military, see some of our veterans, thank them for what they do, celebrate their achievements could not be more important."

Watch: Armed Forces Day parade 'wonderful'.

Other towns and cities in the UK are holding their own celebrations, as well as British military sites around the world.

The national event celebrations will conclude with a concert, including a performance by the Kaiser Chiefs.

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