Saturday 26th of June was Armed Forces Day. Sadly, due to the pandemic the usual parade was cancelled for a second year in a row however, MP’s and councillors came out to pay their respects across the borough.
Romford MP Andrew Rosindell told the Havering Daily:
“Freedom is a precious thing. It is what gives birth to democracy, the rule of law, the ability to speak our minds, associate with whom we choose and speak our native language.
“Not for many decades has the value of freedom been clearer than during this current pandemic, when basic freedoms taken for granted for so long have been taken away.
“On the 26th June, as we look forward to a further few weeks with restricted freedoms, let us take a moment to remember why we have any freedoms at all.
“It is because of the many brave men and women who served, fought and even died for their Sovereign, flag and country. Whether on the fields near Waterloo, above the skies of London, on the beaches of Normandy, or in the Afghan countryside, our courageous armed forces have always been willing to place their bodies in harms way to defeat the many enemies that our great nation has faced and defeated over the centuries.
“Our armed forces are busy working around the world, delivering aid, tackling drug smugglers, providing security and fighting terrorism. They do this not for the money – army salaries are not high, certainly not high enough. They do this because they love this country and cherish its freedoms and liberty. They do this because no one else will and without them, the world would be a more dangerous place for the U.K.
“To all those that serve, have served and will serve we say: thank you.”
The Rainham and Labour MP Jon Cruddas also paid his respects and told the Havering Daily:
“Saturday 26 June marks Armed Forces Day. This year the day falls against a backdrop of uncertainty for our veterans and current service personnel as the Armed Forces Bill passes through Parliament. Last year the Labour Party launched ‘Labour Friends of the Forces’ and this year stands firmly behind our Armed Forces, campaigning for:• The Armed Forces Covenant to be fully enshrined in law,• a duty of care from MoD to provide veterans with better legal and mental health support,• better rights to compensation when injured overseas,• a three-year national insurance holiday for companies employing veterans, • improved Armed Forces housing stock and better access to social housing options.”
To find out more about the work of Labour Friends of the Forces visit their website: https://www.labourforces.org/
“The community across Dagenham and Rainham has a proud and celebrated service history.Armed Forces Day provides us with a chance to remember and thank those who have served, are serving, and the families of service personnel whose loved ones make huge sacrifices to keep Britain safe every day.
“The pandemic has also been a reminder of our Armed Forces continual value to society. From setting up test centres to delivering PPE, they were on hand to support the nation. The Tories talk up their support for our forces, but now it falls on Labour to ensure they deliver.”
In Elm Park Councillors Stephanie Nunn and Barry Mugglestone paid their respects at a flag raising event. Councillor Nunn told the Havering Daily:
The British Legion Chairman thanked the armed forces for their service to us all especially their outstanding service during COVID. The flag was raised at 4 pm and the Kohima was recited by the chairman. Two standard bearers Trevor Hermes and Mick Godling were on hand for this. Representatives of the Merchant Navy Red Endsign Terrence Sullivan and Brian Vallis and Royal Navy reprsentatives Ron Hearn HMS Exeter Falklands veteran and Mike Webb.”