City marks Operation Banner anniversary

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The Northern Ireland Veterans Association are hosting a commemoration for the 50th anniversary of Operation Banner on Saturday August 17 in Lisburn.

Over 10,000 people are expected to attend the event, which will begin with a Drumhead Service at 11am, conducted by Rev Edwin Fraser and Rev Andrew Thompson.

A parade of Operation Banner veterans will then make its way from Wallace Park through Lisburn to mark the occasion, passing and laying wreaths at three memorials on its way – the Lisburn Half Marathon Bomb Memorial and the UDR Memorial in Market Square and the War Memorial in Castle Gardens. Fourteen bands are expected to participate in the parade, which will return to Wallace Park where the Wellington Silver Band will conclude the ceremony. As part of the commemoration event, visitors can make their way to the city centre where an Operation Banner Veteran’s Museum will be set up in a marquee in Market Square. An Ulster Aviation Society Westland Scout Helicopter and old military vehicles will also be on display outside the Irish Linen Centre and Lisburn Museum.

Ian Simpson of the Northern Ireland Veterans Association, said: “This is a once in a generation opportunity to remember over 2,400 men and women who either paid the ultimate sacrifice, or died in service, during the Troubles in Northern Ireland. A further 10,000 being injured during this period. We look forward to a day of commemoration, remembrance and thankfulness for our brave colleagues who held the line and kept the peace in this province.”

For more information go to www.nivets.org.uk.