SUNDERLAND WILL pay tribute to the military by raising the flag at the civic centre on 26 June ahead of this year's annual Armed Forces Day.
Armed Forces Day takes place every year on the last Saturday in June and acknowledges the contribution made by military personnel and their families to their country and communities.
To celebrate the day, the Armed Forces Day flag will be raised outside the council chamber at Sunderland Civic Centre and will fly until 28 June.
The Mayor and Mayoress of Sunderland, Councillor David Snowdon and Councillor Dianne Snowdon, will not be joined by guests for the usual annual civic ceremony, but instead a speech from the Mayor will be posted on social media to allow Sunderland to join in the celebrations virtually.
Members of the public are encouraged to send their messages of thanks to the armed forces and any stories of their own time served to be included in the virtual celebrations by using #MySunderland on social media.
The Mayor, Cllr David Snowdon said: "Sunderland is proud of its strong relationship with our Armed Forces and this annual flag raising ceremony is an opportunity for us to demonstrate our thanks for all that they do for us.
"Although we cannot celebrate together in person this year, we are united in showing our continued support for all those across all the Armed Forces and we encourage communities to hold their own socially distanced celebrations with their families at home.
"Armed Forces Day provides us all with the opportunity to show how much we value and appreciate the contribution and sacrifices they and their families make on all our behalf."
The Mayor added: "Raising the flag also helps us to remember National Reserves Day earlier in the week, which is our country's tribute to all those who volunteer to serve in the Reserves Forces providing vital support in military operations around the world."
Chair of Sunderland Armed Forces Partnership and Sunderland Veterans Forum, Sunderland Partnership Manager, Jessica May, said: "Our city has strong links to the Armed Forces and those close ties continue with young people joining the Forces to serve our country with honour and distinction, returning home to civilian life as valued members of their community greatly enriched by their experiences.
"I am extremely proud that as a city we take a moment to reflect on the contribution that they have made and continue to make so that we can enjoy the freedoms that we do."
Submit messages of thanks or military memories by using the hashtag #MySunderland in social media posts.
More information about joining the Armed Forces and Army Reservists can be found at https://www.army.mod.uk/,
More information about joining the Royal Navy and Navy Reservists can be found at https://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/
More information about joining the Royal Air Force and RAF Reservists can be found at https://www.raf.mod.uk/