Armed Forces Day Saturday June 27th 2009

The announcement follows a Telegraph campaign for a day of celebration to honour the work of British troops who risk their lives overseas.

Other measures proposed by the Government include a more organised approach to homecoming parades, a "Veteran's Card" to give returning soldier access to special perks and privileges, and a relaxing of media rules to allow soldiers to talk more openly to local newspapers.

But ministers have decided against making discrimination against members of the Armed Services a criminal offence, deciding that there was insufficient justification for a change in the law.

The proposals come in the Government's response to the National Recognition of the Armed Forces Study report published by Labour MP Quentin Davies earlier this year.

"The National Recognition Study is an excellent and innovative report and we have looked at every one of the recommendations in detail and accepted the vast majority of them," said Bob Ainsworth, the armed forces minister.

"Where we have not fully accepted a recommendation, we have given meaning to its intent."

He gave his backing to the "package of initiatives to ensure that our soldiers, sailors and airmen are understood, and fully appreciated, by Government and society."

June 27 was chosen for the first Armed Forces Day as it was the date of this year's Veterans' Day celebrations. Ministers hope to build on the day's success to stage even more events in 2009.

The Government hinted that Premier League football clubs could be involved, after a parade of honour around Aston Villa's pitch last year provoked a positive response.

"We are currently investigating the options for the day and the scope to include sporting and other organisations in the arrangements," the Government said.

"We wish to ensure that the day is in tune with the national sentiment and to ensure that the scale and nature of the event does not unduly burden the Armed Forces."

Events could also include parades featuring military bands, announcements in school assemblies and military open days.

I was all for a bank holiday the day after Remembrance Sunday.

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