THE professionalism, courage and commitment of the Armed Forces will be recognised with a day of special events in Leeds this weekend.
On Saturday, the people of Leeds will be able to thank servicemen and women for all of their hard work both at home and abroad.
The celebration is part of National Armed Forces Day, which includes events across the country.
In Leeds a parade through the city centre will feature servicemen and women and also cadets from across the city.
And on hand to entertain the crowds will be a variety of displays, military vehicles and military-related stalls; with family-friendly activities including a climbing wall and fun crafts.
A key element of Armed Forces Day is to highlight the contribution of veterans and there will also be a chance to meet and speak to them about their experiences.
A Drum Head Service will take place on the steps of Leeds City Art Gallery and there will be a flyover by a Lancaster Bomber.
Earlier this week the Armed Forces Day flag was simultaneously raised over Leeds Town Hall and Leeds Civic Hall.
Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Gerry Harper, said: “Leeds is a city which has a rich and long history with our Armed Forces, and we are immensely proud to be hosting once again our own Armed Forces Day event on Saturday June 25 as a way of small thanks for everything that they do on our behalf both at home and abroad.
“Armed Forces Day is one of the most popular civic events of the year, which just goes to show how much our serving personnel and veterans are appreciated by the people of Leeds.”
Councillor Graham Hyde, Leeds City Council’s armed forces champion, said they had been able to put together a programme for this year which promised to be one of the very best yet.
Paul Thompson, chairman of the Yorkshire Malayan and Borneo Veterans Association, added: “Armed Forces Day is always a fantastic occasion in Leeds as it allows both serving members of the Armed Forces and veterans to march and come together as one and be able to share their experiences serving, not just with each other, but also importantly with the public.
“Through events such as Armed Forces Day, this is an opportunity for the people of Leeds to not just celebrate our Armed Forces but also find out more about the job that they do and their history.”
The event runs from 11am-4pm. Bus company First West Yorkshire has announced that serving members of the Armed Forces, veterans and cadets can travel on First bus services across Leeds and West Yorkshire for free on the day.