Antrim to host Armed Forces Day

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Antrim town and district are set to play host to Armed Forces Day events for the first time, with a huge event planned for Saturday, June 18.

Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council had been in talks with the Ministry of Defence about hosting a prestigious event to mark the occasion.

The two organisations have now established a working group to drive forward plans for a programme of events.

Armed Forces Day (formerly Veterans’ Day) in the United Kingdom is an annual event celebrated in late June to commemorate the service of men and women in the British Armed Forces.

Armed Forces Day celebrations begin on Monday, June 20 when the Armed Forces Day flag is raised on buildings and famous landmarks around the country.

A council spokesperson said that with fantastic infrastructure to support a range of events, a huge event is predicted for Saturday, June 18.

The main events are the parade and interdenominational drumhead service involving hundreds of military personnel and veterans but, many other attractions and events are taking place to ensure the day is totally inclusive whether you are nine months or ninety years old.

Confirming the agreement, the Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council, Councillor Thomas Hogg said: “It’s an ideal choice given Antrim’s garrison history location at the centre of a transport hub that will allow easy access by road and rail as well as air.

“We will be able to give more details in due course but for now it’s important that everyone puts Saturday, June 18 into their diaries and makes plans to be with us in Antrim.”

An MOD spokesman said Armed Forces Day in Northern Ireland is a major event in the military calendar, widely looked forward to by personnel.

The MOD spokesperson added: “We are delighted to be able to work with Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council so that we can not only showcase the incredible work undertaken by men and women, reserve and regular across the Royal Navy, Royal Air Force and Army in Northern Ireland but also to thank them for their much appreciated support to the wider military family including veterans.”

The working group will now go forward and develop a programme of events to mark Armed Forces Day.