Renfrewshire Council

Armed Forces Day 2017

Paying tribute to our troops

The annual Armed Forces Day services are one of the most important of the year- especially in the role of Provost.

Today is the National Armed Forces Day, however we undertook our celebrations last weekend in order to allow people to attend both a local and national service.

We must recognise the sacrifices that those currently serving, those who have previously served and those we have lost, make for the safety of our country.

Meeting the veterans and hearing their stories, it brings out a number of emotions such as pride, admiration and respect, and it is only right that we hold these commemorations each year.

The flag raising service on Friday was well attended and the honour of raising the Armed Forces flag this year was bestowed on Royal Navy veteran Robert Pope, who is a member of the Royal British Legion- Paisley Comrades branch.

Robert is in his 90's now (I hope he doesn't mind me telling you!) and it is inspiring to see his dedication to the Forces- even in his later years.

The flag was raised- accompanied by a beautiful rendition of the national anthem by the Renfrewshire Schools Brass Band- and will fly outside Renfrewshire House until tomorrow (Sunday).

The following day, hundreds turned out to pay their respects at a special service- held jointly with Inverclyde Council- in the breathtaking surroundings of Paisley Abbey.

One of the most beautiful buildings we have in Renfrewshire, the location was befitting of a service which means so much to so many people.

The Renfrewshire Schools Brass Ensemble performed within the Abbey as members of the congregation arrived for the service- which was led by Reverend Alan Birss, Minister of Paisley Abbey, Reverend Robert Craig, Minister of Stow Brae Kirk and Father Louis Mendy CSSp  from the Diocese of Paisley.

I undertook a reading, as did the Lord-Lieutenant of Renfrewshire Guy Clark, and Inverclyde's Provost Martin Brennan.

The Inverclyde Senior Choir also performed fantastic renditions of Goodnight my Angel and Love Divine to round off what was a poignant service.

I then made my way to Hawkhead Cemetery where the Lord-Lieutenant, Provost Brennan and I laid wreaths at the war memorial in honour of those we have lost.

It was an honour to attend this service in my new role and one I look forward to repeating year-on-year as we support our Armed Forces for all that they do, and give them the recognition that they so deserve.


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