It's nearly time to mark Armed Forces Day, Saturday, June 28.

This is a chance for the civilian and military communities to come together and ensure the contribution of veterans and their families is never forgotten.

I served in the Armed Forces in Iraq, Northern Ireland and the Falklands. As a former soldier and Lancashire County Council's Armed Forces and Veterans Champion, I am acutely aware of the sacrifices made by veterans and their families in the service of our nation.

Through acts of remembrance, we recognise those who gave what Abraham Lincoln described as ‘their last full measure of devotion’ for comrades and country.

This year's Armed Forces Day coincides with the centenary of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the catalyst for the outbreak of World War One.

I hope that as a community and a county we can come together to commemorate the events that saw the lamps go out all over Europe, and for all conflicts since then.

Find out about local events to mark Armed Forces Day at

Darren Clifford Lancashire County Council's Armed Forces and Veterans Champion