This year’s Bedfordshire Poppy Appeal launched on Saturday with a cascade of poppies from the top of the Atrium at The Mall in Luton.
Following the national launch at The Royal Albert Hall on Thursday for this year’s Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal, the county launch took inspiration from the annual Festival of Remembrance. Current and former service men and women, cadets, Legion members and standard bearers joined in the service of Remembrance at 10.45am at St George’s Square. The exhortation was read by the County Chairman, Eric Robinson MBE, which was followed by the last post and the laying of wreaths.
After a two-minute silence a sea of poppy petals cascaded from the ceiling.
HM Lord-Lieutenant of Bedfordshire Helen Nellis, High Sheriff of Bedfordshire Mr Vinod Tailor, Luton Mayor Mohammad Ayub, DC Superintendent Mark Lay from Bedfordshire Police and the Town Mayor of Houghton Regis Joanna Hillyard also attended the Poppy Appeal launch.
The Royal British Legion is encouraging people to ‘rethink Remembrance’ during this year’s campaign.
Community Fundraiser and Army veteran (2 Para) Michael Lewis, said: “The Poppy Appeal 2017 is encouraging the public to recognise the service and sacrifices made across all generations of the British Armed Forces.
“Service can come in many forms from being parted from family and loved ones for long periods of time, to physical and mental injury, and sadly making the ultimate sacrifice.
“The Legion’s role remains as contemporary and as vital as it has ever been, supporting today’s generation of Service personnel, veterans, and their families, whether living with an injury or illness, coping with bereavement or finding employment. We’re encouraging people to dig deep for this year’s Poppy Appeal to help us raise £45 million. The Legion’s work is entirely dependent on the public’s generous support – so please wear your poppy with pride, knowing that you are helping the Armed Forces community to live on.”