Civic leaders and councillors, including Isle of Wight Lord-Lieutenant, Susie Sheldon, council chairman Councillor Geoff Brodie, council leader Councillor Lora Peacey-Wilcox and High Sheriff James Attrill, gathered for the occasion at a socially distanced ceremony held in St Thomas’ Square, Newport.
Armed Forces Day is an annual event celebrated in June to commemorate the service, past and present, of men and women serving in the British Armed Forces.
Royal Marine Cadet, Dan Williams, of Ryde Sea Cadet Corps, helped raise the flag at today’s event.
Councillor Brodie said:
“Flying the Armed Forces flag is an important way to show our support to the men and women who have served and currently do so, to keep us safe.
“We, as a community, owe a huge debt of gratitude to all members, including reservists and veterans, of the Armed Forces who defend the UK and its interest around the world. They have delivered aid, provided security and fought terrorism in some of the most inhospitable places and continue to do so.
“The past 12 months have shown the adaptability of Armed Forces personnel in continuing to help keep us safe through assisting with the COVID-19 pandemic, be it staffing mobile testing sites to delivering PPE equipment.
“We also remember those who have fallen and honour their sacrifice and service, and we must never forget the huge debt of gratitude we owe them.”
During the pandemic, the Armed Forces supported the creation of extra capacity at St Mary’s Hospital by the Scots Guards and reservists from the Island’s 266 Squadron; the testing of arrangements for moving critical care patients off Island in a RAF Chinook helicopter and, from the Royal Navy, the provision of liaison officers to support the Department of Health in the NHS App trial.
The council also took the opportunity to reaffirm its commitment to honour the Armed Forces Covenant, which sets out the authority’s relationship with the Armed Forces and the services available to current and former personnel and their families.
National Armed Forces Week culminates in Armed Forces Day on Saturday 26th June.