Virtual celebrations ‘should not diminish importance of Armed Forces Day’

Public gatherings for Armed Forces Day have been cancelled this year Credit: Mark Owens/PA

Virtual celebrations should not diminish the importance of Armed Forces Day, the Scottish Secretary has said.

Public gatherings have been cancelled for this year’s event on Saturday due to coronavirus.

Instead, people are being encouraged to use the #SaluteOurForces hashtag on social media to show their support for the UK’s military and veteran community.

Mr Jack said: “Armed Forces Day will see the whole country unite to celebrate and say thanks to our military community of service personnel, reserves, veterans, cadets and families for their unwavering commitment in helping keep us safe.

“While this year’s celebrations will, by and large, be virtual due to coronavirus, this does not diminish its importance, with 2020 being 75 years since the end of the Second World War in Europe, followed by the end of the war in the Far East.

“As we are all too aware, this year the UK and the rest of the world have been embroiled in a new battle – against coronavirus.

“The UK’s military have been front and centre in that fight, providing additional specialist skills and expertise in Scotland.

“On behalf of the whole of the country, I would like to offer heartfelt thanks to them all.”

UK defence minister and former Scottish Tory leader Baroness Goldie said: “Armed Forces Day is a chance for us to recognise the important role that our Armed Forces play in keeping us safe, with many putting their lives at risk on a daily basis.

“That vital contribution is often not visible to the wider public.

“Although we cannot hold large celebrations to honour the event this year, I hope that the people of Scotland will still mark the day by visiting one of the online events taking place which will highlight the hard work of our military community.”

She added: “In recent months the UK Armed Forces have played a central part in Scotland’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Many military logisticians, medics, drivers and planners have built on their expertise and specialist knowledge to assist the people of Scotland and Armed Forces Day is a chance for us to say thank you.”