Fallen heroes were honoured as thousands of crosses were placed at the North East’s only Field of Remembrance.
A dedication service was held in Saltwell Park in Gateshead to commemorate lives lost in service from the World Wars to the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan today.
All of the crosses bear a personal message from members of the public.
Crosses were planted by volunteers including members of the Armed Forces, The Royal British Legion, local cadet forces and members of the public.
Military chaplain The Reverend James Breslin, Chaplain to the Royal British Legion, Northumbria, opened the service on Saturday before a two-minute silence was observed at 11am.
Among those attending was Vicky Dunn, whose 27-year-old son Corporal Steven Dunn from the 216 (Parachute) Signal Squadron was killed in Afghanistan when the armoured vehicle he was travelling in was hit by an IED.
Vicky was joined by Gateshead resident Anne Turner, whose son Rifleman Mark Turner died as he cleared IEDs in Afghanistan’s Helmand Province in 2010.
The North East field of remembrance is being staged at Gateshead for the second year as part of a campaign by the Chronicle’s sister paper, the Sunday Sun, Anne Turner and the Royal British Legion to pay tribute to fallen service men and women from this region.
Anne said: “I’m very honoured to once again dedicate a cross in Mark’s memory and also to be remembering the sacrifices made by all those men and women whose lives were cut short in the line of duty.
“It is a very emotional day, but a very proud one for us.
“We will never forget the sacrifice Mark – and so many brave heroes like him – have made.”
Andrew Drake, area manager for The Royal British Legion in the North, said: “The Royal British Legion remembers and honours the sacrifices of those who fought and continue to fight in service for our nation.
“The field of remembrance is a fitting way of ensuring that the courage of all our fallen heroes lives on in our minds.
“I’m pleased Gateshead Council is once again hosting the North field of remembrance.
“Each cross planted at Saltwell Park represents the public’s heartfelt thanks for the sacrifices made by our brave service men and women.
“I hope people will visit the field and remember with pride those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.”
The North Field of Remembrance at Saltwell Park will remain open to the public from dawn until dusk each day, until November 15.
The region will fall silent this Sunday when Remembrance Day parades take place in towns and cities all across the North East.