This Saturday, Tameside will join the nation in marking Armed Forces Day. I’m really pleased that, for the first time since 2019, our community will once again be able to gather to celebrate this important occasion.
Our armed forces personnel do so much for us, and it’s vital that we take time to recognise their service – both in the past, and in the present. Both my grandads served in the second world war, one as a navigator in the RAF and the other as a gunner in the Merchant Navy, so like many people in Tameside the military is part of my family history.
Tameside has a proud record of supporting the Armed Forces. In 2012, Tameside council were one of the first local authorities to sign the military covenant – a commitment to ensure that those who are serving or have served in the Armed Forces, and their families, are treated fairly and given the respect they deserve.
Tameside’s commitment to the forces is in large part due to the work of the Tameside Armed Services Community. They have been helping Tameside to deliver on the Armed Forces Covenant, and ensuring that Tameside’s Armed Forces community is given the recognition it deserves.
From World War II to Afghanistan and Iraq, Tameside’s veterans have put their life on the line for us. Many people in Tameside will remember the tragic loss of Lance Corporal Andrew Breeze, who was killed in 2010 in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.
I was really pleased that in 2016 we were able to commemorate his life by naming a new road in Denton after him. The sacrifice of Andrew, and all other people from Tameside who have given their lives for our country, must never be forgotten.
This year, celebrations will once again be taking place in Victoria Park, Denton. I’m really looking forward to attending this year’s celebrations, and seeing all the activities and entertainment that will be on offer. I’m particularly looking forward to meeting the veterans, reservists and cadets who will be coming along.
In the year of the 40th anniversary of the Falklands War, in which 225 servicemen died in order to give the Falkland Islanders the democracy and freedom they desired, it’s really important that we don’t forget the sacrifice that members of the Armed Forces continue to make for our country.