Sunderland Armed Forces Day to celebrate heroes

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WEARSIDERS are set to salute the courage and dedication of service personnel as part of a national celebration.

People of all ages will come together in appreciation of the work and sacrifice of Britain’s Army, Navy and Air Force at the Armed Forces Day extravaganza this summer.

Coinciding with other events across the country, Sunderland’s tribute aims to be one of the biggest of its kind in England and will take place at Seaburn Recreation Park.

Organiser Paul Jasper (above) who served 23 years in the Light Infantry and the Royal Green Jackets, said: “As the event continues to gather momentum, it promises to be another fantastic weekend of celebration in respect of our armed forces serves us each day around the globe.

“The British Armed Forces are respected and admired for their professionalism and dedication towards serving their country in all sorts of different ways over the years, from the world wars and campaigns to our present day in Afghanistan, providing support during the floods last year, or building bridges in storm-hit areas, not forgetting the gallant way in which they were thrust into providing security for the Olympics.

“These are just some examples of the reason why it’s important the people of the North East in particular from Sunderland support by celebrating their commitment.”

The event, which is expected to attract bumper crowds, will kick off on Friday, June 28, and include fairground rides, stalls and live music, as well as a dog show and five-a-side competition.

“We are very keen to involve all age groups throughout the weekend demonstrating our commitment and support towards our forces,” said Paul.

“On the Friday, we are holding a reunion for all those ex-serving Armed Forces regardless of age or regiment. All are welcome to gather and renew friendships or create new friends.

“On the Saturday and Sunday, there will be something for all the family, from fairground rides to stalls and performances of local groups, singers, dancers and five-a-side football. There will also be a dog show for all types and breeds, mongrels as well as pedigrees, and car boot sale.

“We can also proudly announce that on the Saturday evening there will be a performance by the Sunderland Orchestra to help create a Last Night of the Proms atmosphere. This promises to be a fantastic first time event and, if it goes wet on us this year, we will be providing a massive marquee to help keep the performances flowing.”

Organisers are also appealing for an army of volunteers to help support the event.

“As the event grows in importance and size, we are looking for volunteers to join in and assist in providing a weekend to remember,” added Paul. “We would also like to hear from any mums of serving soldiers, airmen or sailors, who would like to help.”

Interested volunteers, performers or stall holders, contact 07710 690295 or 552 3402.

Twitter: @SunderlandEcho