Sunderland has flown the flag in recognition of Armed Forces personnel.
As part of Armed Forces Day yesterday, Mayor of Sunderland, Councillor Barry Curran, was joined by civic and military guests including the Deputy Lieutenant of Tyne & Wear Lt General Robin Brimms CBE, MP Julie Elliott and Honorary Alderman Mark Greenfield for the flag raising ceremony on the public concourse outside the Civic Centre’s council chamber.
Second World War veteran Ted Hold was the one who raised the flag.
“I’m very very honoured to be asked to do this and I’m honoured to do it,” said the 94-year-old.
“It’s very important that we keep recognising these people. It’s something I look forward to coming to every year.”
Tom Cuthbertson, whose paratrooper son Nathan was killed aged just 19 while fighting in Afghanistan in 2008, was one of those attending.
I’m very very honoured to be asked to do this and I’m honoured to do it.Ted Hold, Second World War Veteran
“This event is getting bigger and there are now 300 across the country which is fantastic,” said Tom, 46, who is also secretary of Sunderland’s Parachute Regiment group.
“I remember going to the first one at Downing Street in 2009 as it was on my birthday like today.
“It’s nice to have something like this every year to recognise those who have died in all of the conflicts we’ve been involved in.”
Events continue today with a military parade and Union Flag waving concert at Seaburn Recreation Park.
The Vulcan XH558 aircraft also added to the occasion, as its flyover Wearside as part of its V-Force Tour co-incided with the day.
In Seaham, a Drum Head Service was held in Seaham Town Park by the Remember Them Fund and the town council, with support from the Royal British Legion.
A military side drum recovered from the battle fields of France formed part of the event.
The instrument bears the scars of conflict, with damage caused to it with bullets and shrapnel, with the instrument used at the battle of Neurve Chatelle between 1914-18.
The first battle honour carried on the drum is the Boer War during 1900-02.
The service was followed by an afternoon of entertainment in the park.