POLITICAL leaders have issued a rallying cry for residents, urging them to make this year’s Remembrance Sunday spectacle ‘unforgettable’.
Thousands of people across the area are expected to turnout to the commemorations marking the centenary since the end of the First World War.
And ahead of Sunday’s solemn ceremonies, which will include parades and gun salutes, civic chiefs have urged as many people to show their support.
Portsmouth is once again staging one of the nation’s main services, which is expected to be attended by hundreds of veterans and current armed forces personnel.
It comes after the city became the first in the country to install commemorative plaques in more than 800 streets, honouring the men who once lived in them but died in the war.
Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson, Portsmouth City Council boss, is among those leading the rallying cry.
He said: ‘When it comes to paying respect to its military heroes, I think Portsmouth is leading the nation.
‘We have always had one of the biggest parades and I think we’re the only city having put up Remembrance boards in the streets marked those who died in the war.
‘Every Remembrance Day is important but this year I think it’s particularly important because it’s the centenary.’
The city’s service is taking place at 10am in Guildhall Square.
Portsmouth Tory boss, Councillor Donna Jones joined the call and said Sunday would be a ‘day to remember’, adding: ‘The centenary of the 100 years of the ending of he First World War is going to be a major event across the country and Portsmouth is undoubtedly one of the major places in the UK having played a significant part in the war and its success.
‘Portsmouth sent thousands of men to fight to protect democracy across the world and allow us to live the lives we do today.
‘We have made plans to ensure this year’s Remembrance Sunday event in Guildhall Square will be a special occasion and one that people will remember forever.’
Fareham’s town centre is expected to come to a standstill as hundreds attend the Forever Remembered service and parade.
Suella Braverman, the town’s MP, wants as many people to line the streets as possible.
She said: ‘Remembrance Day is one of the most poignant days of the year as it allows us all to pay tribute to all those in our armed forces who fought for our country and our values of freedom, security and democracy.
‘This year marks 100 years since the end of the First World War so will be particularly moving as we remember the heroes who lost their lives in the horror of the trenches.
‘As the sun sets on 100 years of remembrance, we will never forget their sacrifice.’
In Gosport an armed guard from HMS Sultan will form up at 10.30am to lead a parade from Bury Road to Gosport War Memorial Hospital
Caroline Dinenage, Gosport MP, called on people to not only remember those who have died defending the nation but all the armed forces currently serving to protect Britain.
She said: ‘This year marks the centenary since the end of the First World War yet the lessons of bravery and sacrifice of so many and the way a nation comes together in the face of adversity are still so relevant today.’
Veterans and uniformed groups will join a procession in Havant, heading off from the Ex-Servicemens Club, in Brockhampton Lane at 10.40am.
Alan Mak, Havant MP, said the town’s Remembrance service was ‘always well supported’ and urged people to come out and pay their respect this year.