Residents in South Tyneside can now purchase a poppy to wear as a symbol of respect for the nation's fallen in conflicts both past and present.
The Mayor of South Tyneside, Councillor Alan Smith, has officially launched this year's poppy appeal by purchasing the Borough's initial poppy at Jarrow town Hall.
The first citizen of the Borough was joined by Councillor Peter Boyack - South Shields Royal British Legion Branch (SSRBL) President, George Coser - SSRBL Secretary and Michael Bungard - Hebburn Royal British Legion Branch (HRBL) Treasurer and Secretary.
Organised by the South Shields branch of the Royal British Legion, the Borough's Poppy Appeal, which helps those in the Armed Forces and their families, is asking people to rethink remembrance by recognising the sacrifices made by today's Armed Forces as well as those who fought and died in the First and Second World Wars.
The Mayor said, "It is a privilege to have launched this year's Poppy Appeal in South Tyneside. I am very pleased and proud to support such a worthwhile charity, which has a real impact on the lives of those serving in the Armed Forces as well as veterans and their families.
"The Mayoress and I will be wearing our poppies with pride in honour of all those who have sacrificed so much to serves their country. We hope that many people across South Tyneside will join us by buying and wearing a poppy as a mark of respect and remembrance."
Residents and visitors to South Tyneside can purchase a poppy from South Shields Town Hall, Jarrow Town Hall, Hebburn Central and from various shop and supermarkets across the Borough.
Councillor Peter Boyack, South Shields Royal British Legion Branch (SSRBL) President, said: "By buying and wearing a poppy, we pay a fitting tribute to all those brave men and women who served, and continue to serve, our country and express our sympathy and gratitude to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.
"Year on year the Poppy Appeal raises thousands of pounds across South Tyneside with the help of a team of dedicated local volunteers and those who make the vital donations, which enable the Royal British Legion to support South Tyneside's Armed Forces community."
The Royal British Legion provides welfare and companionship to servicemen and women, veterans and their families. It also acts as a voice for the Armed Forces community, ensuring that servicemen and women are honoured and respected.
Michael Bungard, Hebburn Royal British Legion Branch (HRBL) Treasurer and Secretary, said: "The launch of the Poppy Appeal 2016 in South Tyneside is of great importance to our local community including our children who will carry on the remembrance in the future, of the World Wars and conflicts in the past and understand the reason for remembering our fallen servicemen and women.
"Thanks should go to the local stores and shops across the Borough for their support of this great appeal. It is important that the Poppy Appeal continues which provides support for our veterans and injured servicemen and women as well as their families."
Last year, across South Tyneside the Royal British Legion raised over £27,000 for the Poppy Appeal.
South Tyneside Council will be paying its respects on Remembrance Sunday with a number of services taking place in Cleadon Village, Hebburn, Jarrow, Monkton Village, Whitburn Village, East Boldon and South Shields.
For further information about South Shields Royal British Legion Branch's Poppy Appeal please contact them by calling 0191 456 9762 or by emailing George.firstname.lastname@example.org.