The public is being invited to take part and honour service personnel at this year’s Armed Forces Day.
Local men and women serving in the armed forces will join veterans in a parade along Douglas’s promenades on Sunday, June 26, at 3pm and at a church service at the Villa Marina at 3.45pm.
Serving personnel returning to the island for the occasion will be 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.
This year’s event has particular significance as the island marks the 100th anniversary of the Battles of the Somme and Jutland in World War One, the 75th anniversary of America, Japan and Russia’s entry into World War Two and the sinking of the Bismark during the Battle of the Atlantic.
Brigadier Norman Butler CBE, who chairs the Armed Forces’ Day organising committee, said: ‘The parade and service are always deeply moving occasions. To see veterans of past conflicts, some now a great age, walking alongside serving personnel is particularly poignant.
‘We hope anyone with a connection with the armed forces, past or present, will apply for tickets for the event, which are free of charge, and join us as we give thanks for all the armed forces have done and continue to do, to protect our freedom.’
Veterans of World War Two and students from five island secondary schools will take part.
Juan Watterson MHK, the Government’s Armed Forces Champion, said: ‘The link between the Isle of Man and the armed forces has never been stronger. The island now boasts 48 reservists and a thriving army, air and sea cadet movement. This is a good time to combine as a community to commemorate our past and present and remember those who have paid the ultimate price for the freedom of our island.’
Application forms for tickets can be obtained from the Villa Marina, the Welcome Centre at the Sea Terminal, the Manx Legion Club in Douglas, public libraries in Onchan and Ramsey and Commissioners’ offices, or by returning the form that appears in last week’s Isle of Man Courier.
All forms should be returned to Ann Wilson at 1 Kensington Avenue, Douglas, IM1 3ET.