The official Armed Forces Day flag has been hoisted above the City Chambers in Edinburgh today  as the Capital prepares for a packed weekend of events to honour Armed Forces personnel past, present and future.

Edinburgh has been chosen as the host city for the National Armed Forces Day which promises to be the biggest and best since the annual celebrations began in 2009.

The Rt Hon George Grubb, Lord Lieutenant and Lord Provost of the City of Edinburgh, said: “We will be honouring our Armed Forces personnel and veterans with a fantastic three days of events for all the family to take part in, watch and enjoy. Current service personnel will join with veterans to enjoy the events and to share their experiences of serving their country.

“We raised the Armed Forces Day flag at the City Chambers this morning to show our continued support and gratitude for the risks both serving personnel and veterans take to keep us safe. Sending people to war is a huge responsibility and remembering them when they return is just as important.”

Joining the Lord Provost at today’s ceremony were representatives of the Armed Forces: Brigadier George Lowder, Commander 51 (Scottish) Brigade; Air Commodore Harry Atkinson, Air Officer Scotland; Commodore Charles Stevenson, Naval Regional Commander; Colonel Martin Gibson, Chairman of Veterans Scotland and Flt Lt Katie Strickland.

Highlights from the three days of events include:

Friday 24 June: Ocean Terminal at Leith will see tours of Type 23 frigate HMS Portland and a spectacular 30 minute air display (sponsored by SELEX Galileo) by the world famous Red Arrows over the Firth of Forth – their first full display in Edinburgh for 23 years. Some of the best views will be from Calton Hill, The Braids, Corstorphine Hill, Arthur’s Seat, Cramond and the Promenade.

Saturday 25 June: The main event for Armed Forces Day Edinburgh (sponsored by BAE Systems and Finmeccania) will see a parade of up to 2,500 military personnel, veterans and cadets marching down the Royal Mile from the Castle Esplanade to Holyrood Park, past Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Rothesay.  The parade will end with a short ceremony and a flypast from the Red Arrows. This will be followed by a Drumhead Service in Holyrood Park where there will be a Veterans’ Village and further military/family activities.

Sunday 26 June: These events have been organised by the charity DecAid. The day kicks off with a Military Fitness Session in Holyrood Park, followed by a massed Pipes and Drums parade from the Castle Esplanade to Holyrood Park, and then by an afternoon of music and a Battle of the Bands.

The Armed Forces Day national event is being staged thanks to funding from the Scottish Government, the City of Edinburgh Council and the Ministry of Defence. The Council has also been successful in securing sponsorship from:

Finmeccanica – Principal Sponsor
BAE Systems – Principal Sponsor
Force Protection – Platinum Plus Sponsor
Royal British Legion – Platinum Sponsor
Compass Group – Platinum Sponsor
SELEX Galileo – Gold Sponsor