A salute to our armed forces

LIVERPOOL is asking people to show their support for the services as the city prepares to become the national focus for the Armed Forces Day celebrations.  Friday 5 May will mark 50 days until Liverpool stages the annual national event, and as part of the countdown the team behind the organisations want everyone to say a special ‘thank you’ to those ordinary people who do extraordinary jobs in the armed forces. All you need to do is take your own ‘Salute Our Forces’ selfie which could be used in the online and billboard marketing campaign in the run up to the event which takes place on Saturday 24 June. Groups or individual pictures are welcome – just strike a salute pose and send the image in. The pictures need to be uploaded to www.cultureliverpool.co.uk/saluteourforces-selfie. The deadline for picture submissions is midday Monday 15 May.  Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet Member for events, Councillor Wendy Simon, said: “This event is all about thanking those ordinary men and woman who dedicate their lives to serving our country. “We want to build anticipation ahead of June’s fantastic event and get people involved as much as possible, so the salute selfie is a great way to raise profile for the event and thank the armed forces at the same time. “It’s incredibly exciting that we are already at the 50 day countdown mark, and I look forward to 24 June when Liverpool shows once again why it has such an outstanding reputation for staging large-scale outdoor events.” The Armed Forces Day celebrations will begin at 11am on 24 June as around 1,000 serving personnel, veterans, cadets and marching bands take part in a parade, stepping off from St George’s Hall, travelling through the city centre and culminating at Princes Parade where a salute will be given by a number of special guests and dignitaries. Activities will take place across the waterfront until 5pm and will take place in zones dedicated to all three military services. In these zones military assets will be showcased ranging from static aircraft, diving tank, survival equipment display, bomb disposal robot, RAF technology zone, tanks and armoured vehicles, right through to field operating theatre including a battle field ambulance, field catering demonstrations, field gun run, marching military bands, street theatre and family zones. (All assets are subject to operational requirements). A Display Arena will be located next to Liverpool Cruise Liner passenger lounge which will give visitors the chance to see a number of capability demonstrations, ranging from Royal Marines unarmed combat display and military marching bands right through to an Army bridge building demo and a field gun-race between a team from RAF Cosford and the aircraft carrier HMS Prince of Wales (the city’s affiliated ship). You can also watch the tri-services battle it out in a number of dragon boat races at Princes Dock. Weather permitting, a number of flypasts will take place throughout the day involving aircrafts such as the Red Arrows The full programme will be announced next month. Liverpool was officially announced as the official host of national Armed Forces Day by the Ministry of Defence in July 2016 following a bidding process. A major part of the Armed Forces Day celebrations is the parade.  Any veterans wishing to be represented in the parade are requested to register beforehand.  Veterans are required to complete the ‘Parade Application Form’ which can be supplied by contacting the Events Team at cultureliverpool@liverpool.gov.uk.  Further details regarding the route, arrival times etc will be sent to you on completion of the form. It will take place at the same time as the Mersey River Festival, and although both events will remain distinct, links will be made between the two so they complement each other. Many of Saturday’s activities will remain for Sunday 25 June.