Rachael Maskell, MP for York Central has paid tribute to all who have served in the Armed Forces in Parliament’s First Garden of Remembrance. This Armistices Day, the MP planted a cross in memory of all who have fallen, served and continue to serve on tours with the Armed Forces. The Remembrance Garden situated in New Palace Yard, near Big Ben, has been established for the first time, and enabled MPs to bring their tributes from their own constituencies.
The MP for York dedicated her cross to all who had served in York and continue to serve at Imphal Barracks and as Reservists today. York has such a rich history of service men and women prepared to give their all to bring peace and stability. These last few months, as she has been supporting people to leave Afghanistan, she has yet again been reminded of the toll placed on serving Regulars and Reservists and veterans of this most brutal conflict.
British Armed Forces have also played a pivotal role in the fight against Covid19 this year through the roll out of the vaccine. Embedded in our vaccination hub at Askham Bar, they not only vaccinated thousands of people, but took the learning of how York’s operation worked to other locations. They will be driving ambulances this winter as the crisis in the NHS bites and have been on standby to ensure that our shop shelves are stacked.
With the climate and environmental crisis ever encroaching, and as we know here in York all too well, it is our Armed Forces that come to the rescue when flooding occurs, but also support nations rebuild overseas in their fight against the elements. With climate at the heart of so much unrest and conflict, the battle for our planet must work hand in hand with our Armed Forces to de-escalate risk.
Today, as York falls silent at 11am, we all have an opportunity to pause and pay our own tributes to the fallen and the living ahead of the formal Remembrance events to be held on Sunday in the city.
Following the launch of its national poppy appeal, the Royal British Legion (RBL) are back in local communities across the country to raise vital funds to support our armed forces communities. 40,000 volunteers across the country will be collecting donations for the Poppy Appeal as the RBL marks its centenary. This Sunday, residents will be able to line the streets of York and wear their poppy with pride as they form their own memories of troubles past and future hope.
Rachael Maskell MP said:
“It is without doubt that the British Armed Forces are the very best of us. Just as they were over a century ago, our armed forces have shown this year just how indispensable they are to the nation’s security, from airlifting British Nationals out of Afghanistan, and assisting residents during the pandemic. During Remembrance, we honour and remember the sacrifices made by service men and women, veterans and their families, past and present.”
“This year we see the opening of the first Parliamentary Garden of Remembrance. I will be visiting the Garden which will provide a space of reflection and as an act of Remembrance on behalf of my constituents, I planted a wooden Remembrance cross in commemoration of residents of our City who serve and have served in HM Armed Forces here in York.”
“It’s vital we recognise their heroic efforts, their courage, service and dedication. I encourage everyone to support the poppy appeal this year and take time at 11am on 11 November 2021 to fall silent with the nation and pay respects to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in serving out country. We must honour the fallen, support the wounded and together build peace with those that continue to serve.”