Honour our war heroes' bravery

AS someone who's chosen to make their home in Glasgow for more than a decade, it takes something important for me to ask anyone to leave this city - even for a day.

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But I would encourage as many people from here as possible to join me in heading to Stirling on June 28.

It's for UK Armed Forces day and is to honour the men and women who have worn the uniform and served our country.

Every year Armed Forces Day is held in a different UK city and serving personnel, families, veterans and supporters come together to celebrate contribution of our soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines to our country and to our freedom.

This year, Armed Forces Day holds an added significance due to the anniversaries in 2014.

It is 100 years since the outbreak of World War One, a conflict that saw more than half a million Scots sign up to serve their country.

It is also 70 years since the D-Day landings, where troops from all over the UK and overseas fought shoulder to shoulder to defeat fascism in Europe.

More than 400,000 veterans live in Scotland and events like this allow us to show our appreciation of what they have done to protect our country, both in times of peace and war.

But as well as remembering the contribution of veterans, it is important that we recognise the contribution of those who continue to serve in the armed forces today.

The UK's armed forces continue to bring safety and security, whether it is here in the UK, or on peacekeeping missions around the world. 2014 also marks the year when the last of our troops return from the conflict in Afghanistan, and the fact that many young men and women are living with the scars of that conflict adds a real poignancy to occasions such as this.

Armed Forces Day is expected to attract tens of thousands of visitors from across the UK and overseas and, according to organisers, it promises to be a memorable event for all who attend, set against the historic backdrop of Stirling Castle.

With a parade through the town by more than 1000 serving personnel and veterans, flypasts by vintage and serving aircraft - including a red arrows display - and plenty of things to see and do, it is a day that should be enjoyable, as well as moving.

It is free and is expected to be one of the biggest events of its kind ever held in Scotland.

Like most people in Scotland, I know many people who have served - or continue to serve - in our armed forces.

I'm going to go to Stirling on the 28th to say thank you for all that they have risked for us. I hope you can consider joining me there.


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