A FLAG raising ceremony today marked the start of a week dedicated to servicemen and women.
Members of Gosport Borough Council, honorary aldermen and serving and former members of the forces attended the service this morning.
They proceeded from Holy Trinity Church, in Trinity Green, Gosport, to Falkland Gardens, in Gosport, to raise the Armed Forces Flag, the Union Jack and the Borough Crest flag.
Deputy mayor of Gosport, Councillor Wayne Ronayne, spoke to the assembled crowd ahead of the hoisting of the flags.
He was flanked either side by Commander Ian Harrop, of Gosport’s naval base HMS Sultan and the Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Hampshire, David Frere-Cook.
Cllr Ronayne said: ‘Flags around the country are raised on the Monday of Armed Forces Week in a universal show of support honouring Britain’s armed forces – past, present and future.
‘And it is marking a moment in our history, that will long be remembered with warmth and pride by the men and women who make up our armed forces.
‘We believe it is important that we not only remember all those who fought in the First and Second World Wars and other campaigns around the world.
‘But that we also remember the men and women today who are still risking their lives for the defence of their country in Afghanistan, and also smaller less publicised operations around the globe.
‘Our servicemen and women make up a world class organisation, of which we can be immensely proud.
‘And we hope that by raising the flags to mark the beginning of Armed Forces Week, local families, whose loved ones can’t be here, will find some comfort in knowing the people of Gosport are all thinking of them.’
Cllr Ronayne paid tribute to the services’ role in disaster relief operations, humanitarian aid and their assistance to the civil population in the UK in times of disaster.
Standard bearers representing both Gosport and Lee-on-the-Solent branches of the Royal British Legion, Gosport Submariners Association, and the Royal Navy Association were also present.