A POIGNANT ceremony honouring the bravery of soldiers, sailors and airmen was the highlight of a moving weekend of tributes to war heroes.
Hundreds of servicemen, veterans and families paid their respects at Blackpool Cenotaph and paraded on the Promenade. A Spitfire fly-past had to be cancelled because of the bad weather.
Gary Bell, chairman of the Armed Forces Week Steering Group, said: “All the ceremonies mean a lot to the people of Blackpool. People were based here during the Second World War, and a lot of associations still hold reunions and conferences here. There are a lot of residents, but people come here especially for this week, and they all enjoy it.” Blackpool launched Armed Forces Week by marking the sacrifice of heroes with the unveiling of two lasting tributes, ceremonies, a dinner at Blackpool Tower, and a fundraiser.
Hundreds of veterans, serving members of all three forces and residents gathered at St John’s Square as The Lancashire Artillery Band, The Irish Guards Singers and Rossall School’s combined Cadet Band all performed for the masses.
Taxi drivers also paid their respects and raised hundreds of pounds for ex-servicemen when they pulled their vehicles from Blackpool Tower to the Pleasure Beach, and back to the Cenotaph.