LONDON, June 27 (UPI) -- Britain celebrated its inaugural Armed Forces Day Saturday with thousands of people attending events honoring troops across the country, observers say.
Troops serving in Afghanistan raised flags in a series of events, while about 30,000 residents, veterans and current members of the armed services gathered at an event at the historic dockyard in Chatham, Kent, The Daily Telegraph reported.
The newspaper said a parade of 450 veterans and 200 current military personnel, led by the Royal Marines band, was set for Chatham, where the duke and duchess of Gloucester were said to be in attendance.
Queen Elizabeth II, meanwhile, was expected to attend Armed Forces Day events in Edinburgh, where she, as the regiment's colonel in chief, was to give campaign medals to the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards, the Telegraph said.
Armed Forces Day is a chance for civilians "to register the deep and enduring gratitude that we as a nation have for all those who have served their country," the Queen said.