Nottingham chosen to host Armed Forces Day as over 60,000 people expected to show their support
MORE than 60,000 people are expected to turn out to salute the Armed Forces when Nottingham steps into the national spotlight later this year.
The city has been chosen to host Armed Forces Day – and the Sheriff of Nottingham hopes we can top the crowds drawn to last year's celebrations in Plymouth.
Councillor Merlita Bryan said: "It will be a special day, a real show of how proud Nottingham is of the Armed Forces.
"I'm sure that Nottingham will get behind our armed forces and show our support for them."
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Plans for a programme of events and activities at Victoria Embankment on June 29 were announced yesterday. They include a parade of Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force personnel, joined by veterans and military bands, displays and demonstrations.
Lance Corporal Sterling Hall, 24, from Arnold ,who serves with 29 Commando Regiment Royal Artillery in Portsmouth, said: "It would make me feel proud of Nottingham and make what I'm doing seem a bit more worthwhile.
"Events like this don't have to be done but it's nice that Nottingham is hosting it."
Mr Hall, who served in Afghanistan in 2009-10, attended the Plymouth event last year, which drew crowds of 60,000, and added: "It would be nice if Nottingham could outdo Plymouth as well."
The news came as city and county councils signed a covenant pledging support for the military and their families.
The county boasts more than 2,000 service personnel, with Chetwynd Barracks at Chilwell, HMS Sherwood in Beechdale, seven TA centres and more than 50 cadet sea, air and army units.
Vicki Holmes, mother of Kieron Hill, from Clifton, who died, aged 20, in an explosion in Afghanistan in 2009, said: "It will be amazing. People need to see what the armed forces do. I think it's always good to see events like this supporting the Armed Forces."
Armed Forces Day will be the culmination of a week-long celebration, during which thousands of men and women of the reserve forces will put on their military uniforms for their day jobs.
Plans for the fifth national event were unveiled yesterday at County Hall.
County council chairman Councillor Carol Pepper said: "Whether it's organising school places for Forces children, providing support to our employees who are reservists, or marking local and national events to acknowledge the contribution of the Armed Forces – we are committed to providing all the help we can."
Brigadier Harry Nickerson, Commander 49 (East) Brigade, said Armed Forces Day was "yet another sign of the Forces' enduring relationship with the people of Nottingham".