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Last Updated: Tuesday, 29 January 2008, 16:14 GMT
Blackpool to host Veterans' Day
Blackpool beach and tower
National Veterans' Day was established in 2006
Blackpool has been named as the host of this year's National Veterans' Day.

Thousands of people are expected in the resort on 27 June, after it beat off Liverpool, Glasgow, Manchester and Edinburgh for the event.

The announcement was made by Derek Twigg, the minister for veterans, at the Imperial War Museum in London.

Mr Twigg said that a number of "excellent bids" had been put forward for the national event but that Blackpool's "stood out".

"I congratulate them on the excellence of their bid," he added.

"Veterans are of all ages with a variety of different backgrounds, and they all deserve our recognition.

Blackpool has a special place in the hearts of many veterans
Robert Wynne
Mayor of Blackpool

"Not only have they honoured their commitment to defend our country's interests in service, they have also used their skills and experiences to enrich their local communities."

Blackpool has been holding an annual Veterans' Week since 2005.

It was given 3.5m by the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) to support events over a three-year period.

This year's Veterans' Week will run from 21 to 29 June.

'Historical links'

Mayor of Blackpool, Robert Wynne, said: "Blackpool is absolutely delighted to have been chosen as the host for National Veterans' Day 2008.

"It's a great honour for the town.

"Blackpool has many historical links with the Armed Forces and has a special place in the hearts of many veterans."

The National Veterans Day was established in 2006 and is designed to thank ex-servicemen and women for their service.

Mr Twigg also announced an extension to eligibility for HM Armed Forces Veterans Badge.

All veterans can now apply, whereas previously it was available only for veterans who had served at any time up to 1970.



VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Plans for Veterans Day in Blackpool



SEE ALSO
Hundreds gather for Veterans Day
07 Jul 07 |  Hampshire
Seaside town to host Veterans Day
15 Dec 06 |  Lancashire
In pictures: First Veterans' Day
27 Jun 06 |  In Pictures
Military vets claim lapel badges
16 Jun 06 |  Manchester

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