Thousands gather to mark country's largest ever Armed Forces Day
Stirling - XINHUA
Britain's Armed Forces Day was celebrated on Saturday in Stirling city in southern Scotland with a grand parade and crowds of people to honor servicemen and women past and present.
Princess Anne, British Prime Minister David Cameron, Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond and Labor Party leader Ed Miliband, as well as several Westminster cabinet members and Stirling's Provost Mike Robbins took part in the celebrations as Stirling Castle provides the backdrop to parachute, helicopter and jet displays.
The day-long event includes a display of vintage and current military vehicles, pipe bands, a parade of 1,200 personnel and a show by the Red Arrows, the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team.
The national celebration of the Armed Forces Day in Stirling was close to where the city was marking the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn, a significant victory in 1314 in the wars of independence.
Cameron said in Stirling that the city put on an absolutely brilliant show, and he suggested a bigger message this year for people to consider what Scotland brings to the British armed forces and what being part of a bigger entity brings for Scotland as well, given the independence referendum was scheduled to be held in Scotland on September 18.
"My message is always that Scotland gets the best of both worlds, and that's what we want to see." he noted.
Meanwhile joined by the Duke of Edinburgh in London, the Queen was honoring First World War veterans on the 100th anniversary of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo, which is widely thought to have sparked the conflict.
Previously known as "Veterans' Day," Britain's Armed Forces Day was established in 2009 to celebrate the service of Army, Navy and Royal Air Force members and their families, which so far has been held on the last Saturday of June.