To acknowledge the contribution made by those who serve and have served in Her Majesty’s Armed Forces, special flag raising ceremonies take place around the country each year. In Bedfordshire, flag raising ceremonies were held at Priory House, Chicksands and Borough Hall, Bedford on Monday 21st June.
HM Lord-Bedfordshire of Bedfordshire, Helen Nellis, raised the flag at Chicksands and was supported by Lord-Lieutenant Cadet Abby Bierton from Bedfordshire & Cambridgeshire Air Training Corps. The ceremony was attended by The High Sheriff of Bedfordshire, Eric Masih; The Chief Executive, Marcel Coiffait; Leader of the Council, Cllr Richard Wenham; Council Chairman, Cllr Brian Saunders; Vice Chairman, Cllr Gordon Perham; and Cllr Mark Versallion, Armed Forces Community Covenant Champion.
Standard bearers from the Royal British Legion and other groups including commanding officers and personnel from our local armed forces bases, reserve and cadet forces, veterans and representatives from armed forces support organisations were in attendance at both ceremonies. At Borough Hall, the Mayor of Bedford Dave Hodgson was also joined by local dignitaries and a pipe player.
The ceremony is a time to reflect on conflicts past and present. Speaking after the ceremony, the Lord-Lieutenant said “It was an honour to join with colleagues from our Armed Forces and with dignitaries from across Bedfordshire, to show our respect for the brave men and women who work so hard to protect us and the values for which our nation stands. We remember those who have sacrificed so much in the past and we honour colleagues of today, many of whom are, as we speak, helping us to come through the pandemic. We fly the flag as a symbol of our gratitude always."