Monday 13th July 2020
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22/06/2020 - Armed Forces Week Message from Lord Lieutenant of Bedfordshire

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As a result of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic activities to celebrate Armed Forces Week in Luton are to be restricted to the raising of the flag on 23 June in the lead up to Armed Forces Day on 27 June.

​The Lord Lieutenant of Bedfordshire, Helen Nellis, who would have otherwise attended events throughout the county has sent a message and video to councils in the region:
 
“Usually on this day, I would be standing proudly beside colleagues from our Armed Forces, Cadets and leaders of our civic community to raise our national flag in honour of the courageous people who defend our country and its interests at home and across the seas.
 
“Sadly, the Covid 19 pandemic means that I cannot attend in person this year, but I nevertheless wanted, as HM The Queen’s representative in Bedfordshire, to pay tribute to those special professionals, and their families, who provide such important support for us all.
 
“The contribution of our Armed Forces in the three services, the Royal Navy, The Royal Air Force and the Army, be they Reservists, Full-time or Cadets, has always been most valued in our history.
 
“Whether promoting peace, delivering aid, tackling drug smugglers, fighting terrorism or ensuring the security of civilians, they play an important role nationally and internationally.
 
“As I speak today, they are playing a key role in helping our local communities, to survive during this pandemic, providing assistance wherever it is needed.

“In Bedfordshire we are proud to have two notable bases – Chicksands and RAF Henlow, where personnel have been working alongside partners across all the sectors to provide expertise, wisdom and hard graft to ensure that we can move forward from this crisis.
 
“Equally our young Cadets have been shining in their own right, as they have been supporting their peers online with training and learning groups.

“As ever, all of our Armed Forces and their families deserve our immense respect for what they do for us.
“On behalf of the people of Bedfordshire, I send you my warmest wishes and special thanks on this Armed Forces Day. We salute your dedication, your loyalty and your professionalism. Thank You”
 
Hazel Simmons MBE, Leader of Luton Council added her own words in tribute, “As we take a moment to remember the invaluable role of the military throughout this nation’s history, we are again reminded of the deep affection we have for those who serve their country in this way.
 
“The determination and unassuming selflessness of Captain Tom and the nationwide sadness at the recent death of Dame Vera Lynn, who herself was devoted to encouraging the services throughout her life, have struck a fresh chord in our hearts. There is a unique bond between the public and our military and I hope we will all take a moment  this Armed Forces Week, to reflect with gratitude and admiration upon those who serve in this way.”
 
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