Portsmouth reacts as city celebrates Armed Forces Day

ET(ME) Hayden Patrick, left, with ET(ME) Ben Keimpema and Leading Phot Sam Seeley at Portsmouth Armed Forces Day on Southsea Common. PHOTO: David George
ET(ME) Hayden Patrick, left, with ET(ME) Ben Keimpema and Leading Phot Sam Seeley at Portsmouth Armed Forces Day on Southsea Common. PHOTO: David George
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VETERANS, families and service personnel have been celebrating the continues hard work of the armed forces today.

Armed Forces Day is being celebrated across the region, with events showcasing everything the forces have to offer - from armed forces bands to drill displays.

At Southsea Common hundreds have been gathering to see the HMS Collingwood Volunteer Band, a fleet of display vehicles and more.

Kenneth Webb, 90 from Bracknell, said: ‘I used to be in the RAF myself.

‘I served for two years as a flight mechanic.

‘It is always important to show respect to those who have served and are still serving in the armed forces, so I think events such as this are fantastic and it’s great to see so many other people here.’

Deputy Lord Mayor of Portsmouth, Councillor David Fuller, was at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard for the Armed Forces Day celebrations this morning.

He said: ‘I went to Southsea Common this morning to raise the flag and am going back for the afternoon.

‘It’s brilliant that there are these free events in the city for people to celebrate our armed forces.

‘Everyone is here to show appreciation for the work they do to keep us safe and to recognise that is very important.’

Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson, leader of Portsmouth City Council, said: ‘It’s great to have thousands of people turn out in Portsmouth to show their commitment to supporting veterans and serving personnel.

‘There’s such pride for that here and it’s good to also have such good celebrations for our armed forces.’

Joy Newton was among the thousands to watch The News’s live broadcast of Armed Forces Day on Southsea Common. She said: ‘Thank you to those that are serving and have served. Proud of each and everyone of you.’

Sarah June Tremlett said: ‘Huge respect to all who serve today. Thank you for your service.’

While Susie Wall added: ‘Dad served 33 years in the army and I’ve always been immensely proud of him.’