The island is to mark Armed Forces Day on Sunday with local men and women serving in the Armed Forces joining veterans in a march along Douglas’s promenades at 3.15pm.
This will be followed by a church service at the Villa Marina at 3.45pm.
In what is always a moving highlight of the service, serving personnel returning to the island for the occasion are welcomed into the Royal Hall with a standing ovation.
The day will culminate with an afternoon tea and an evening of entertainment at the Villa Marina.
The event has greater significance this year as 2014 is the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War and the 70th anniversary of D-Day. Veterans of the Second World War will be among those participating in the march and service.
For the seventh time in the eight-year history of the event, students from secondary schools will join in the march and service.
Tim Crookall MHK, Minister for Education and Children, said: ‘It’s poignant to see young people marching alongside veterans of World War Two, later campaigns and serving personnel and touching to see students mingling and chatting with veterans at the tea that follows the service. Our schools enjoy taking part in this event as it links the past and the present in a way that can’t be replicated in the classroom.’
Military charity the Isle of Man Branch of SSAFA each year supports around 12 veterans of all ages, including those who fought in World War Two, those who did national service and their dependants. It is already seeing growing numbers of younger veterans coming forward with problems. Anyone who would like help from SSAFA or would like to volunteer to help the charity can call 824888 or email Isle.Man@ssafa.org.uk