COMMUNITIES marked the sacrifices made by the men and women who fight to defend the nation’s freedom by celebrating the start of Armed Forces Day.
The official flag of the nationwide celebration was hoisted up in Havant outside the borough council’s office, in Civic Centre Road, yesterday morning.
About 50 people, including veterans, pupils from Warblington School, councillors and cadets from the police, army, navy, marines and RAF joined the event.
Among the guests at the 15-minute service was Havant’s mayor, Councillor Elaine Shimbart. She said it was a very ‘emotional’ and ‘moving’ day.
‘It’s so important that people are now aware of the contribution that the armed forces make to the country from the past and present,’ she said.
‘It’s very important that we remember the sacrifices that they have made.’
Elsewhere, East Hampshire District Council also joined the commemorations, raising a flag over the authority’s office in Petersfield.
Councillor Lynn Evans, chairman of the council, raised the flag. She said: ‘I am proud to raise this flag on behalf of all those in East Hampshire who value the fantastic job the men and women of the Armed Forces do.
‘They put themselves in harm’s way to protect our way of life and we want them to know how much we appreciate the risks they take and the sacrifices they make.’
The official Armed Forces Day celebration will be taking place on Saturday.