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Remembrance Sunday is always an important occasion for many of us in Sutton. We remember and pay tribute to all those who have lost their lives in the service of our country. It is also an opportunity to support the marvellous work of the Royal British Legion in caring for current and ex-servicemen and women and their families.

This year we will pay tribute to our armed forces at an official ceremony and parade through Sutton on Sunday (14 November).

Members of the Royal British Legion and Women’s Section will lead the parade from King Edward Square at 10.15am to Holy Trinity Parish Church for the Remembrance service. The Last Post followed by a two minute silence will be observed in the Church before the laying of wreaths at the War Memorial.

This Remembrance Sunday we particularly think of those still serving in Afghanistan and those who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan in recent years.

Last Friday I visited Acres Estate Agents on Beeches Walk where they are once again running their campaign for Operation Shoebox, through which members of the public can send festive parcels to troops serving on the front line in Afghanistan.

As Sutton Coldfield’s MP I am extremely proud of the effort that has gone into this campaign and the response we’ve seen. And all over Sutton I am aware of individuals and groups raising money and holding events in aid of our armed forces. It is an expression of Sutton’s overwhelming support for the troops serving our country abroad.

On Sunday we of course also think about the generations who served in the First and Second World Wars, who are sadly with us in diminishing numbers, but whose courage we particularly remember this year, the 65th anniversary of VJ Day, the day the Second World War ended.

The national service of commemoration which took place on the actual anniversary – 15 August 2010 – celebrated the achievements of the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth and the Allies in their victory in the Far East, but also paid tribute to the 580,406 UK and Commonwealth Forces and 67,073 UK civilians who lost their lives during six long years of conflict.

We must never forget the sacrifices made and the dedication showed by those who served our country in both World Wars. They fought and suffered in ferocious conditions and witnessed incomprehensible horrors. They lost their lives – and many were imprisoned. And they did all this for us – to protect the freedoms we all enjoy today.

I would like to encourage all residents in Sutton Coldfield to turn out and join with us in making this tribute to our men and women in uniform on Remembrance Sunday this year.

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