London Assembly Chair Darren Johnson and Mayor of London Boris Johnson today hosted a flag raising ceremony outside City Hall to to honour the bravery and commitment of the Armed Forces.
The pair were joined by Brigadier Richard Smith, Deputy Commander of London District, the Army Headquarters in London, cadets and musicians from the Royal Anglian Regiment.
Mayor Boris Johnson said: “We are raising the Armed Forces Day flag in honour of all the brave men and women who tirelessly serve their country to keep us safe, in particular those serving in Afghanistan. Our servicemen and women are a key part of all London’s communities and today’s event is particularly important following the shocking events in Woolwich.
“This was an appalling, unforgivable act and no words could ever successfully convey the sadness and horror felt across the capital. Londoners continue to come together during difficult times, and as a world city that leads by example we are rightly dedicated to supporting members of the Armed Forces and their families during and after their time in service.”
Assembly Member Johnson AM, added: “As Patron of the City Hall Branch of the Royal British Legion I am proud to remember the service and sacrifice of veterans and serving personnel at our flag raising ceremony.
“As Chair of the London Assembly I am pleased to underline our commitment to supporting our Armed Forces and honouring the promises we have made in our Armed Forces Community Covenant. This year’s flag raising will be particularly poignant following the awful murder of Drummer Lee Rigby. London’s reaction to those events in Woolwich demonstrated the gratitude, esteem and unity of Londoners in support for the men and women of our Armed Services.”
Brigadier Richard Smith said events such as today’s as Armed Forces Day, which will be marked this Saturday, were “an opportunity for the UK public to recognise the contribution that serving personnel, veterans and cadets make and have made to the nation.”
He added: “ But it’s also an opportunity for us to say thank you to the people of London. We recognise and are grateful for the huge support we get, and we want to reaffirm our support for the local communities in which we serve.
“The presence of soldiers, sailors and airmen at Flag Raising ceremonies across the capital today is a clear sign of the Armed Forces’ enduring relationship with the people of London and it is fantastic to see the Armed Forces Day flag now flying so proudly outside City Hall.”