Armed Forces Day is celebrated annually and was due to be marked on the 27th June this year. However, the coronavirus pandemic forced celebrations to be cancelled.
What is Armed Forces Day?
Armed Forces Day is when the UK celebrates people who make up the Army, Navy and Air Force. Every year communities come together to honour serving members of the forces and those that used to serve. However, this year was different because of the coronavirus pandemic. There were plans for a central event to be held in Scarborough, Yorkshire, but it had to be cancelled. Instead people were encouraged to share their positive stories about Armed Forces and what they mean to them.
What took place?
Although the Scarborough event didn’t take place, the Red Arrows still performed a flypast. Many other events were moved ‘online’ where possible. The Queen and Prime Minister led tributes to veterans and serving personnel. The Queen said “Having members of my family serve in each of the armed services I know only too well of the pride service personnel take in their duty. As your commander in chief I send my warmest best wishes to you all, your families, and the entire armed forces community”.
Instead of parades, performances were streamed online on the Forces Facebook and Twitter pages. In addition, behind the scenes footage of the Royal Navy’s HMS Queen Elizabeth and the Red Arrows were shown. These gave a glimpse into who the people behind the uniforms are, what they do, and knowledge of how to support them.
The Ministry of Defence announced that next years Armed Forces Day was again set to take place in Scarborough.
Since the start of the pandemic there has been a notable impact on veterans mental health. According to Help for Heroes, there has been a significant rise in the number of requests for help and a 50% rise in the number of veterans who feel they are not managing their mental health well. They need support and help more than ever.
If you would like to find out more about supporting Help for Heroes please visit our Help for Heroes page.