How South Tyneside will mark Armed Forces Day in 2021 as covid restrictions remain in place
South Tyneside will honour forces heroes with an awe-inspiring online tribute on Armed Forces Day.
But with covid restrictions still in place, organisers are instead switching their efforts to create what they say will be a ‘dynamic, action-packed, virtual tribute to mark Armed Forces Day’ on Saturday, June 26.
An ‘awe-inspiring’ short film will be streamed on South Tyneside Council's YouTube and social media channels at 11am on Saturday to ensure as many people as possible can be part of the occasion.
The Air, Land and Sea-themed film will open with a spectacular scene featuring free-falling skydivers and involve the Armed Forces Day flag being passed between various organisations against the backdrop of popular Borough landmarks, before being hoisted up on the flagpole at the 324 Air Cadets base in Northfield Gardens.
Residents are encouraged to get involved by watching the online commemoration from home, observing the national two minutes silence and sharing pictures of their salutes and personal tributes, using the hashtag #SaluteOurForces
Mayor of South Tyneside Councillor Pat Hay said: “It is so important to support our military personnel, past and present, and show them that we really do value their commitment.
“Armed Forces Day is an opportunity for us all to get behind our Armed Forces community and to reflect on the amazing work they do to protect the UK and her interests both at home and abroad.
“Although the event that we have come to know and love won’t take its usual format this year, we are determined to mark this very special celebration once again with a wonderful online tribute.
“We hope people will join us online for what not only promises to be an exciting adventure but a fabulous tribute to our Armed Forces.”
The pre-recorded film will include readings and poems by the Mayor, Deputy Lieutenant for Tyne and Wear Ann Clouston and young cadets.
It will also feature key partners in the Borough’s traditional Armed Forces Day celebrations, with special appearances by the Badlanders Motorcycle Club, 205 (3rd DVA) Battery Royal Artillery (Volunteers), 324 Air Training Corps Squadron and Sea Cadets South Shields. A piper, Major Paul Hamilton, and buglers will also play The Last Post and Reveille.
The Armed Forces Day flag will also fly over South Shields Town Hall on the day.
Councillor Ed Malcolm, chairman of South Tyneside Armed Forces Forum, said: “Armed Forces Day is a fitting tribute to the Borough’s Armed Forces community. It gives us a chance to show great appreciation for all they do to help keep our country safe while remembering all those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
“Despite the ongoing restrictions, we are determined to honour all our serving personnel, service families, veterans and cadets, who make up our Armed Service community and come from all walks of life. Their work is vital to the defence of our country.
“We would encourage people to watch and share our virtual tribute this weekend. It is a really simple way for people to get involved and show their support.”