Thank you Armed Forces
23 June 2020
Thank you armed forces
Diss Town Council has raised its Armed Forces Day flag in the Park in honour of the armed forces community this week.
The armed forces have been central in helping the fight against Covid-19 and locally, members of the Royal Anglian Regiment have been in Diss fronting the testing centre.
Armed Forces week started on Monday 22 June and offers the public the chance to discover more about the work of the armed forces with each day dedicated to celebrating a different part of the military.
The week culminates in the twelfth annual Armed Forces Day on Saturday 27th June when usually the Market Place is host to an event to show solidarity in support for the men and women who make up the armed forces community; from currently serving troops to service families, veterans and cadets.
Diss Town Council had been asked this year to coordinate the town event, which is usually hosted by the Royal British Legion. Jim Bidwell of the Legion, who has hosted the event in Diss for six years, said of the experience “I am really disappointed that the event cannot be run this year and look forward to working with the Council later in the year or in 2021 to mark this important occasion. I am also thinking ahead to the remembrance parade in November and hope that we will be in a position to organise some type of event for then.”
Although lockdown has forced the cancellation of many events, there are plenty of ways you can get involved and celebrate our Armed Forces virtually. Showing support for the Armed Forces provides a much-valued morale boost for the troops and their families.
From a Virtual Inca Trail race and 13 Bridges Walk to a Virtual Big Brew Up and Armed Forces Week Raffle, there are plenty of ways to take part. It is also a chance to raise funds for SSAFA, the Armed Forces Charity, and help to support those with injuries and illnesses that are a result of their service in the British Armed Forces.
#SaluteOurForces is another way to pay tribute to the British Armed Forces community for their hard work, dedication, and efforts to and keep us safe in the UK and across the globe.
Town Councillor, Jim Welch, who was co-opted on to the Council earlier this year, used to serve in the Royal Air Force in an intelligence role. Of his time in the services, he says, “Don’t shed a tear unless of joy, as you help the heroes live in peace again”.
County and District Councillor Kiddie was an Officer in the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers for 35 years. He said, “I know it is always easy to think of the contribution our armed forces make when the country is in an armed conflict, such as Iraq and Afghanistan however, when the shooting stops, it is perhaps no surprise that their profile dips a bit.
This year, whilst being officially "at peace", the country was fighting a war against a terrible foe, that is corona virus, perhaps all the more deadly because it is a silent killer! The armed forces have been heavily deployed in support of the "Home Front". People may have already forgotten the flood relief undertaken at the start of the year.
More recently, there has been the vital aid to the NHS in building the Nightingale Hospitals, helping staff the mobile virus testing stations and general logistic support to hospitals. All of that notwithstanding, there are still many deployments overseas in support of NATO and UN missions.
Our service personnel are highly trained, well-motivated and utterly dependable. We should honour them.”Sgt Duncan Slater, who suffered life-changing injuries when serving in Afghanistan, has gone on to complete a number of challenges such as the gruelling Marathon de Sables to raise funds for charity and was awarded the Honorary Freeman of the Town of Diss in 2018.
He said, “Although Armed Forces Day is very important, a lot of the important work that the military does goes unseen. Being in the military is a 24 hours a day job as you have seen with the great work the Armed Forces has been doing supporting the amazing NHS. No matter what the circumstances are, the Armed Forces will always roll up its sleeves and do what is needed. I, for one, think that the work SSAFA does alongside all military charities, including WWTW (who I work for), will always be the helping hands to those who need help during and after service life. Please support those who support us all.”