Lisa Nandy MP: Vital role played by our armed forces
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Remembrance Sunday gives us the opportunity to honour the service and sacrifice of all those that have defended our freedoms and protected our way of life.
We remember the Armed Forces, and their families, from Britain and the Commonwealth, the vital role played by the emergency services and those who have lost their lives because of conflict or terrorism.
This year we commemorate the 70th anniversary of the armistice which brought an end to fighting in the Korean War and pay tribute to the British and Commonwealth forces who served in almost unimaginable conditions. We also honour the contribution of those who undertook National Service, 60 years after the last serviceman was demobilised.
With 2023 seeing the 75th anniversary of the arrival of settlers from the Caribbean on the Empire Windrush, the Royal British Legion is also encouraging people to explore the connections between the Armed Forces and the Windrush Generation and mark their service and the part they played in rebuilding post war Britain.
Today our Armed Forces continue to play a vital role in protecting British interests and values and upholding security and stability worldwide. In particular British forces continue to have a leading role in confronting Russian aggression against Ukraine through coordinating supplies, supporting NATO allies on deployments to Estonia and training Ukrainian troops. This is in addition to the everyday work our forces do, from peacekeeping and providing humanitarian aid to enforcing anti-terrorism measures and helping combat the international drug trade. Currently, there are around 150,000 full time trained troops in the British Armed Forces. The armed forces community is a very important to our area. Since 2015 the North West has recruited around 12,000 armed forces personnel, the third highest number of any other region in the UK.
There are also over 1.8 million armed forces veterans across England and Wales and at least 10,000 in Wigan alone. There will be many opportunities to remember and honour those who have served their country across our borough in the coming days.
The Royal British Legion provides lifelong support to serving and ex-serving personnel and their families. From offering expert advice and guidance, to recovery and rehabilitation, through to transitioning to civilian life. I encourage people to support the Legion’s annual Poppy Appeal and help fund the excellent work they do.
On Armistice Day people across the country will take part in the traditional two-minute silence at 11am to mark the signing of the agreement to end the fighting of the First World War.
On Remembrance Sunday services and ceremonies will be held at churches and war memorials across the borough along with the annual procession from Wigan Town Hall to the War Memorial in All Saints’ Gardens and service at Wigan Parish Church.
Our Armed Forces have always and will always protect us at home and abroad. This weekend provides us with an important opportunity to recognise their ongoing efforts and remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.