West Lancashire honoured the service and sacrifices made by our armed forces at a special event on Monday 22 June to commemorate Armed Forces Day.
The Ministry of Defence flag was raised at the War Memorial in Coronation Park in Ormskirk. The ceremony was attended by service veterans, Mrs Gail Stanley, Deputy Lieutenant of Lancashire; Councillor Nikki Hennessy, Mayor, her consort Paul; Councillor Liz Savage, Deputy Mayor and her consort Councillor Noel Delaney; and Councillor Ian Moran, Leader. Gill Rowe and Kim Webber, the Borough Council’s Managing Directors also attended, and Councillor Terry Devine, Armed Forces Champion. Representatives of Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service, members of 1026 (Ormskirk) Squadron, Royal Air Force Air Cadets and 1st Ormskirk Scouts and cubs attended.
At the ceremony, Skelmersdale Prize Band performed prior to Mrs Gail Stanley formally presenting the flag to Councillor Nikki Hennessy.
On receiving the flag, Councillor Hennessy said: “We are honoured to receive this flag as a tribute to all our Armed Services, who have served in the past and are serving today. It is with pride that the Borough of West Lancashire shows its support by dedicating this moment to them. We trust that this Ceremony will be remembered with warmth and affection by all men and women who are serving or have served the Colours.”
Councillor Hennessy then gave the flag to Tony Hamer, of Skelmersdale Ex-Services Association. The Rev Stuart Haynes said a short prayer, and Mr Hamer said: “Today, we have great pride in paying tribute to the men and women who defend Britain. Today we also remember the sacrifices made by the veterans of conflict. I hope that you will all join me today in paying homage to our armed forces past and present who serve our country each day with pride and dignity.”
He then passed the flag to Air Cadet Harry Startup, from Ormskirk 1026 Squadron, who had the honour of raising the flag. After the ceremony Cllr Hennessy said: “Our armed forces make many sacrifices to serve and protect their country and I was honoured to play a role as Mayor of West Lancashire in this ceremony. Personally, my family are proud service men and women. My husband and I both served for over 30 years each with the Territorial Army (TA), (the Royal Logistic Corps and Parachute Regiment respectively). One of our daughters is in the RAF and the other Sophia has followed in my footsteps and is serving with the TA. Our son is going to Lymeston in July to do his selection for the Royal Marines. We know what a sacrifice families make to serve this country."