Ulster Unionist Leader Mike Nesbitt has urged the public to take time this weekend to remember the contribution made to the Nation by our armed forces as we prepare to celebrate Armed Forces Day and commemorate the Battle of the Somme.
Mr Nesbitt said:
“This weekend will be a poignant one for many people.
Saturday is Armed Forces Day, an occasion which provides an opportunity to both raise public awareness of the contribution made to our country by those who serve and have served in Her Majesty's Armed Forces. It will also let us publicly show support for the men and women who make up the Armed Forces community: from currently serving troops to Service families and from veterans to cadets.
A more sombre tone will be struck on Sunday when we commemorate the 96th Anniversary of the Battle of the Somme when the British Army suffered horrendous casualties. In two days of fighting 5,500 officers and men of the 36th Ulster Division were listed as killed, wounded or missing.
On Sunday, in cities, towns and villages throughout Northern Ireland, there will be services to remember those who fought in that Battle.
On Sunday morning shortly after 11am, I will have the honour of laying a wreath on behalf of the Ulster Unionist Party at the Cenotaph at Belfast City Hall. We will remember them.“