Wednesday 1st December 2010 will I am sure be remembered by Blackburn people for many years to come. There had been much publicity in the lead up to the Homecoming Service and parade by the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment and most expected it to be well supported by the public. However, I for one was amazed by the sheer number of people who came into town to welcome home the brave troops and stayed for hours in spite of the snowy winter weather. It really goes to show how much the public values the sacrifices being made and the duty shown.
Estmimates have put the total number of people attending the parade at 10,000 which is a truly magnificent level of support.
Much can be said about the merits of military action in far off lands but what must be recognised is the absolute sense of duty and dedication shown by our armed forces in not only ensuring that they work together as comrades but also for a better future. Afghanistan is far from perfect today but what is clear to me is that the troops knew that they were working to improve the lives of people there and create a more stable and prosperous future – and we are now nearer to that than we were before the coalition forces intervened.
The recognition is well deserved and I for one was proud to be there on a day when Blackburn showed the North West how much it appreciated the efforts of the 1st Battalion the Duke of Lancaster Regiment.