Armed Forces Day 2012
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Armed Forces Day 2012 has been hailed as another success in Ayr, after hundreds of people, including elected members and Council officers and defied wet and windy weather to support service personnel on Low Green.
The Council had already raised a commemorative flag at Place St Germain-en-Laye to show their support for Armed Forces personnel past and present and Provost Helen Moonie hosted a Civic Reception for military personnel, before the fun day opened with a flag raising ceremony.
Despite the blustery conditions, the event was spectacular, featuring a range of armoured vehicles, military equipment and a naval helicopter from HMS Gannet, which flew in from the base to go on static display, much to the excitement of the gathered crowds.
Later in the afternoon, another military helicopter, on its way back from Belfast, made the crowds cheer as it made a detour to perform a fly-past over the event.
Provost Moonie said: "The turnout to support Armed Forces Day was fantastic and it gave us the chance to reflect on those who have served their country in the past, or are currently doing so and to think about those who will follow in their footsteps in future years.
"Those brave men and women routinely put their lives on the line to protect the values we all hold so dear to us and to protect our national and personal safety."
Also present were the Strathclyde Fire and Rescue Services, Strathclyde Police, HM Coastguard and the Army Cadet Force, who joined veterans' charities such as Combat Stress, SSAFA, Gardening Leave and Help for Heroes.
A host of other organisations and clubs offered stalls, taster sessions, competitions and made sure there was something for everyone – with the annual tug-o-war proving especially popular!
Speaking on behalf of the Armed Forces, Flight Lieutenant Rachel Maloney added: "We were absolutely delighted to see such great support from local people for Armed Forces Day.
"We know how strong the links are between residents in South Ayrshire and the Forces and we also appreciate the excellent support given to us by South Ayrshire Council.
"Our aim is to build on these relationships and our commitment to the people of South Ayrshire and we look forward to future similar successful celebrations of Armed Forces Day."
Provost Moonie concluded: "The people of South Ayrshire have strong military ties and their support for the services was absolutely fantastic.
"Many told me they had come along because they had family who had served, or who were still serving and they simply wanted to show their appreciation for the sacrifices being made our behalf.
"This year, we were more determined than ever to champion our Armed Forces and I'm thrilled we managed to do that so successfully.
"I look forward to continuing with our commitment to the Armed Forces and would like to say a big thank you to them and to all those who came along supporting them in another exciting day of events, activities and fun!"