Leeds buildings lit up red, white and blue in honour of Armed Forces Day

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Council buildings in Leeds will be lit up red, white and blue today in honour of Armed Forces Day.

In the year that marks the 75th anniversary of VE Day, the commemoration will mostly be celebrated virtually for the first time in history, with military bands performing via the Armed Forces Facebook and Twitter pages.

On Saturday, the Red Arrows will fly over Scarborough, where official celebrations were due to be held, the British Army's Catterick Garrison, and RAF Leeming in North Yorkshire.

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People in Leeds are being encouraged to celebrate the British Armed Forces from their living rooms, despite not being able to attend or host events.

People in Leedsare being encouraged to celebrate the British Armed Forces from their living roomsPeople in Leedsare being encouraged to celebrate the British Armed Forces from their living rooms
People in Leedsare being encouraged to celebrate the British Armed Forces from their living rooms

Armed Forces Day is usually marked by hundreds of events across the UK, including in Leeds, however due to Covid-19 these events have been cancelled so people are now being encouraged to celebrate from their own homes.

During the past week, Leeds City Council has encouraged people in Leeds to honour the role of the Royal Navy, Army, Royal Air Force, Reservists, veterans, cadets and the wider Armed Forces - thanking them for their support in helping with the ongoing Covid-19 effort.

Despite not being able to hold the flag raising ceremony this year the Armed Forces Day flag will still be flying today from the Civic Hall and Leeds Town Hall and council buildings will be lit up in red, white and blue.

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Chapel FM in Leeds will also be hosting a special show from 10am until 4pm today.

This will include several veteran radio hosts introducing pre-recorded oral histories about life in the Armed Forces from people from a diverse range of ages, backgrounds and areas of service.

Listeners are asked to write or call in with song requests to dedicate to those who have or are serving, sharing short anecdotes about the meaning of bring in the Services.

Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Eileen Taylor said: “I’m delighted and honoured to be hosting the city’s Armed Forces Day celebrations.

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"Unfortunately we cannot hold the usual Flag Raising Ceremony or the parade this year but we can still come together at home to acknowledge and show our thanks for the Armed Forces.

“As a city, we are extremely proud of our long and distinguished military history and of our current Armed Forces personnel who work in various deployments at home and abroad – addressing emergencies, providing security and supporting numerous initiatives in dangerous situations, with great dedication and professionalism.

"I would like to thank them all and especially for their contribution with the ongoing pandemic”

Cllr Jane Dowson, Leeds Armed Forces Champion said: “Leeds Armed Forces Day is a chance for us all to say a big thank you to our service men and women. I think everyone will want to join with me in thanking Armed Forces personnel for all the work they are doing currently to help during the current Covid-19 pandemic.

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"I would like to offer a big thank you to everyone taking part and I will be saluting them all on Saturday. I hope you will join me.

“I hope you will tune in to Chapel FM – 94.6FM on Saturday, June 27 from 10am – 4pm for a dedicated day of activities including pre-recorded interviews, phone in’s and dedications throughout the day.”


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