Thousands mark Armed Forces Day
Thousands of people took part in a special event in Carrickfergus, Co Antrim to mark national Armed Forces Day on Saturday.
Saturday, 30 June 2012
Past and present members of the forces came together to parade through the town led by the band of the Royal Marines from Scotland.
A parachute display and a flypast were also part of the day's jam-packed itinerary.
It was a day for remembering those killed or injured during service and also a day of recognising courageous acts.
First Minister Peter Robinson was among those attending the annual event at the coastal town which boasted a military parade.
Among those joining in on the day's festivities was 28-year-old Lieutenant Paul McFarland, from Belfast, of the 1st Battalion Royal Irish Regiment.
He was awarded the Military cross for an act of courage while on patrol in Helmand province in Afghanistan in 2010.
Lt McFarland jumped onto his colleague's back to protect him from a grenade blast.
He said it was a "nice privilege" to be in Carrickfergus as a member of the Royal Irish.
Speaking on his bravery medal, he told UTV: "It's a massive award and I very much appreciate receiving it.
"I'm very much of the belief that everyone who serves in the Armed Forces has an important role," he added.
The First Minister said the day was special not only for the forces, but also for the general public.
The DUP leader added: "It gives us the opportunity to show our appreciation for their gallantry and service every day of the week."