UUP Councillor Robbie Butler, has called on the entire community to wear their poppies with pride in the period running up to and during Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day.
Councillor Butler praised “the tremendous role” which the British Legion Poppy Appeal fulfilled in the support of and aftercare of serving soldiers and veterans.
He said wearing a poppy was a terrific way of remembering the supreme sacrifice made by service personnel from the United Kingdom and the British Commonwealth.
Councillor Butler added: “The conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan and the tragic personal losses to our Armed Forces serve as a daily reminder of the sacrifice of our military personnel.
“However, no matter how serious the danger, these gallant men and women continue to serve with honour and dignity and as a nation we owe them a debt of gratitude which can never be repaid.
“We must also remember the relatives and friends at home who constantly worry about their loved ones serving in these dangerous conflict zones.
“And in the Province, we are hugely aware of the sacrifice of our Armed Forces - from the UDR, RUC, Royal Irish and PSNI who served their country daily with many paying either the ultimate price with their lives, or being maimed and mentally scarred.
“To them we give our eternal thanks for making our country safer for our children.
“In these coming days, wear your poppy with pride as a public tribute to those who have served their country so dearly,”
Councillor Butler continued: “Almost a century after it was first established, the Royal British Legion still plays a vital role in the support aftercare of former and serving soldiers and their families.
“Wearing a poppy in the run up to Remembrance Sunday is the best way of supporting the Poppy Appeal and those it helps.
“Any conflict or peace-keeping duties where our forces are serving must become that daily reminder of the sacrifice still being made by servicemen and women from across the United Kingdom and Commonwealth.
“Unfortunately on a regular basis, we still hear of another soldier who has been injured or killed so it is extremely important that they and their families have access to all the help and support their need.
“In these coming weeks, wear your poppy with pride and pay tribute to those who have so bravely served their country,” urged Councillor Butler.