Amber Rudd, MP
Jo died in the act of public service and it is incumbent upon all of us to honour the sacrifices made by those who work to improve our society, our country and our way of life. This Sunday many of us in Hastings and Rye will come together to mark Armed Forces Day. At the kind invitation of the Hastings and St Leonards Veterans Association I will be attending 1066 Armed Forces Day in Alexandra Park. This is our opportunity to thank our servicemen and women for the sacrifice they have made on our behalf and recognise their contribution in historic and current conflicts. Members of our Armed Forces not only defend our country with unmatched skill and devotion but they also help make a secure and more peaceful world for future generations.
It is also our chance to pay tribute to service families who devotedly support their husbands and wives, mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters who courageously and selflessly serve our country many miles from home.
I look forward to seeing many of you on Sunday. Further information about the day can be read here: www.armedforcesday.org.uk/event/1066-armed-forces-day.
Locally and nationally the respect we have for our Armed Forces is deeply embedded in our society and communities. Indeed, almost all families have a connection to our Armed Forces - even simply by honouring and taking pride in the work they do to defend us. And what all of us recognise - and what links the generations - is that those who serve stand for bravery, sacrifice and a sense of duty: they prioritise what is best for our country and they put the needs of others before their own.
Both Hastings and Rye have deep military traditions. I am proud to represent in Parliament veterans who have served in conflicts from World War Two onwards including Northern Ireland, UN Peacekeeping campaigns and the campaigns of the past decade. These brave people have been putting their lives on the line - on the ground, in the air, and on the oceans - to keep us safe. Armed Forces Day is an occasion to salute our communities’ veterans, young and old. As a society we must make great effort to support those who served. This means everyone from the 20 and 30 year-olds who have returned from operations in their prime of life and are seeking new challenges, to the older veterans who are part of our nation’s living history. They all have so much to offer and they are a constant reminder to younger generations that preserving our way of life and the things we hold most dear is sometimes tough, and never guaranteed.
So behind the flags, parades, pipes and drums to mark Armed Forces Day, we should remember those who fight for our country, and their families. They are an inspiration to us all and we are grateful for all they do.
I would like to finish by wishing the England football team the best of luck with their vital UEFA European Championship game against Iceland on Monday. Come on England!