The public is invited to take part in the Isle of Man’s Armed Forces Day on Sunday 25th June.
Local men and women serving in the armed forces will join veterans in a parade along Douglas’s promenades at 3pm and at a church service at the Villa Marina at 3.40pm.
The multi-denominational service, led by Archdeacon Andie Brown, will have the theme ‘Peace and security for all, hard won by the few.’
In what is a moving highlight of the service, serving personnel returning to the Island for the occasion are welcomed into the Royal Hall with a standing ovation.
The day culminates in afternoon tea and an evening of entertainment.
Brigadier Norman Butler CBE chairs the Armed Forces’ Day organising committee, which has the patronage of the Lieutenant Governor, the President of Tynwald and the Chief Minister and is made up of representatives of all the Island’s ex-service organisations.
‘Armed Forces Day is a Manx National Day and celebrates the service, past and present, of Manx men and women members of the military, including the merchant marine and our Reserves,’ said Brigadier Butler.
‘The parade of serving personnel, veterans, cadets, emergency services and schools, and the service in the Villa Marina are always deeply moving occasions.
‘The Villa Marina is always packed for the service, giving thanks for the work of the armed forces and remembering those who fell in service. The tea afterwards is a chance for everyone to meet old friends and comrades, mingle and reminisce.’
Brigadier Butler continued:
‘Sadly, the numbers of veterans able to take part is diminishing. The youngest World War Two veterans are now in their 90s and the youngest National Servicemen in their late 70s.
‘However, we are much encouraged by the increasing contribution of our youth and the recent establishment of a Manx Reserve Unit.
‘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.’
Juan Watterson MHK, the Isle of Man Government’s Armed Forces Champion, said:
‘The Isle of Man has a long and proud tradition of service in conflict and peace-keeping.
‘It is appropriate that we combine as a community to commemorate the efforts of local men and women past and present, near and far, in ensuring the freedoms we cherish today.’
Application forms for tickets for Armed Forces Day can be obtained from the Villa Marina, the Isle of Man Government Welcome Centre at the Sea Terminal, the Veterans’ Agency at Markwell House, the Manx Legion Club in Douglas, public libraries in Onchan and Ramsey and Commissioners’ offices or by returning the form that appears in this week’s Isle of Man Examiner and Isle of Man Courier.
Forms should be returned to Ann Wilson at 1 Kensington Avenue, Douglas, IM1 3ET.
Armed Forces Day is a British-Isles-wide event and a national event in the Isle of Man.
You can follow news of the event on the Facebook page Armed Forces Day Isle of Man.
For the 10th time in the 11-year history of the event, students from the Department of Education and Children’s five secondary schools will take part in the parade and service and Queen Elizabeth II High School’s Junior Choir will perform.