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Hampshire residents are being invited to show their support for the Armed Forces by joining in the celebrations for Armed Forces week.
Hampshire County Council and Winchester City Council will be marking Armed Forces Week with a flag raising ceremony in Winchester today (Monday 25 June 2012).
This is an annual event that helps raise public awareness of the military and gives the local community the opportunity to show their support for the Armed Forces. The ceremony will include a military band leading a Tri-Service march past through Winchester town centre watched by flag-waving schoolchildren, veterans and reservists.
MusicOn Monday the lunchtime celebrations begin at 11.45 with the Band of the Royal Corps of Signals playing a 40 minute selection of military music at the Buttercross in the centre of Winchester's High Street.
MarchingAt 12.35 the band will march down the High Street where it joins a contingent of 45 service personnel drawn from HM Naval Base, Portsmouth, and the Army and RAF Personnel Administration and Food Services Wings at Worthy Down. The band will lead them up the full length of the High Street to The Great Hall, Castle Avenue, where the Armed Forces Flag will be raised at 13.00.
Flag Raising HM Lord-Lieutenant of Hampshire, Dame Mary Fagan, Councillor Ken Thornber, Leader of Hampshire County Council and Councillor Frank Pearson, Mayor of Winchester, have organised the flag raising ceremony.
The Lord-Lieutenant said: "I am delighted that representatives from all three services, plus veterans and reservists will be with us for the Flag Raising Ceremony. I hope that members of the public will attend the short ceremony and in doing so demonstrate our County's commitment to the Armed Forces and remind us of the debt of gratitude we owe to them all."
Councillor Ken Thornber said: "Hampshire has a long, proud association with the armed forces and is home to the largest contingent of Armed Forces personnel in the country. Operational units of all three services are based here along with the headquarters of both the British Army and the Royal Navy. We want to show our appreciation for all that they do to protect our country and serve the cause of freedom."
Councillor Frank Pearson, Mayor of Winchester said: "Our city's historic links with the armed forces are well documented and I am proud that our streets continue to ring out with the sounds of marching personnel as we welcome them along with veterans and reservists and show our respect for what they do for us."
Armed Forces week will see celebrations across the country leading up to Armed Forces Day on Saturday 30 June which is an annual opportunity for the nation to show its support.
To find out more visit www.armedforcesday.org.uk