A 14-YEAR-OLD schoolgirl was a picture of pride, respect and emotion as she sang solo at yesterday’s flag-raising ceremony in Emsworth.
Eloise Bryant, who attends Park Community School in Leigh Park, performed the hymn Make Me a Channel of Your Peace to a crowd of dignitaries, war veterans, servicemen and women, and members of the public.
The Mayor of Havant, Cllr Ken Smith, paid tribute to the dedication of the armed forces and was presented with the Armed Forces Day flag by the Deputy Lieutenant of Hampshire, Vice Admiral Sir Roy Newman.
Cllr Smith said: ‘I’m very proud of our armed forces past and present.
‘I’m delighted our borough is joining with people across the nation to show their appreciation, support and respect for our brave servicemen and women for all they have done and all they do, and the brave sacrifices they make for our country.’
Several readings were made by the Rev Simon Sayers, with Doug Bell delivering The Kohima Epigram and the words ‘When you go home, tell them of us and say, for their tomorrow, we gave our today’.
Cpl Danielle Sanders, 16, one of the Mayor’s three cadets, told the crowd: ‘These are the men and women who put their lives on the line every day.
‘These men and women are the best of all of us – this country’s true heroes.’
The flag was passed from the Mayor to an officer from 47 Regiment Royal Artillery, which is based at Thorney Island.
The flag was raised by crew members from HMS Excellent and HMS Bristol Training Ship and will fly over Emsworth Square until Saturday. Eloise, of Linkenholt Way, Leigh Park, said: ‘It was a really good opportunity to come and sing. I respect the armed forces.’