Red Arrows to perform flypast in Yorkshire today to celebrate Armed Forces Day

Boris Johnson has praised the work of the armed forces as the Red Arrows is due to performing a flypast today over the skies of North Yorkshire in honour of Armed Forces Day.

People on the east coast should be able to see the Red Arrows today

The Prime Minister said he was “proud to salute” the armed forces ahead of the annual event, which was due to be held in Scarborough this year and honors the men and women who make up the British Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force.

Due to the pandemic, many scheduled events were cancelled or moved online but there are still a small number of events, such as the flag raising ceremony taking place at Scarborough Castle, which can be watched online.

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson, said: “Whether you’re a regular, a reservist, a civilian contractor, a veteran, or the family and friends who support our military in so many ways, we as a nation salute you.

“We know that – day and night, at home and abroad, at sea, on land, in the air and even in space and online – our fantastic Armed Forces are there for us.

“And it’s for all that and more, that I’m proud to salute our Armed Forces.”

The day, which celebrates the work serving troops, service families, veterans and cadets, is a day to “say thank you to our world-class armed forces”, said North Yorkshire Lord Lieutenant Johanna Ropner.

“Armed forces day won’t go unnoticed. An enormous amount of work has been put into it - councils and towns have worked really positively on it and there’s a lot still happening virtually.”

“We’ve seen over the last few years that the public have really embraced the armed forces.”

She talked about the work done in the region during the pandemic, including at RAF Leeming, where the coronavirus tracing app was first tested, and the armed forces personnel at Catterick carrying out Covid-19 testing among members of the public.

Yorkshire has been particularly thankful to the armed forces over the last five years or so, who have been on hand to help during numerous bouts of flooding in the region, including the severe flooding of the Don Valley in December.

She said she was pleased that Scarborough would be able to hold the event again next year.

Scarborough suffered particularly heavy bombardment on one day in December 1914 during the First World War as German battleships killed 17 people and destroyed buildings in the town and damaged the 12th Century Scarbrough Castle, which is still visible today.

During the Second World War, on one night in March 1941, known as the Scarborough Blitz, 28 people were killed and hundreds injured by high explosive parachute mines dropped on the town by German planes.

Coun Tony Randerson, Scarborough Borough Council cabinet member with responsibility for the Armed Forces Day National Event said: “Today’s flypast is a wonderful surprise and I would like to thank the RAF for arranging to include the Yorkshire coast in the route. The Red Arrows’ fitting tribute to our Armed Forces marks the end of a week where we’ve celebrated their invaluable contribution to our nation virtually, with a wide range of online content from veterans, serving Armed Forces personnel and local children, groups and organisations.”

He thanked English Heritage for the use of the castle for the event and said he was looking forward to “next year when we will be able to come together physically for the national celebration.”

“Planning is already underway for a spectacular occasion to make Scarborough, our county and our country, very proud.”

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “The last year has been a busy one for our servicemen and servicewomen of the UK Armed Forces.

“Their professionalism, commitment and versatility have rarely been more evident than during the pandemic.

“The Armed Forces community cannot celebrate in person this year, so we are doing our best to show you through social media who our people are, what they do, and how you can show your support.”

The event can be followed at www.scarborougharmedforcesday.co.uk, where the flag raising ceremony will take place at 1pm.