Monday, 9 November 2009

Norwich remembers war dead

From Norwich Evening News 24:

Remembrance Sunday in Norwich

The people of Norwich turned out in force yesterday for a poignant service to remember those who died for their country in days gone by - and those who are today putting their lives in peril.

Standard bearers flanked the steps of City Hall as wreath after wreath of poppies was laid on a specially-erected plinth - watched by a crowd of thousands who congregated nearby.

The Rev Peter Nokes, vicar of St Peter Mancroft Church, who led the act of remembrance, said:

It's a day when we shine a light on the human courage and self-offering which has brought protection and peace.

We also shine a light on the terrible, terrible cost of war and the grief and loss it brings. We remember thousands and thousands of lives lost in the first world war in the most awful carnage and we remember the fallen of the second world war.

He drew people's attention to modern-day conflicts, and said:
The current events are a poignant and ghastly reminder of the ongoing cost of conflict.
The Last Post was played before an impeccably-observed two minutes' silence that was interrupted only by the sound of birds flying overhead.

Don Cooper, 83, from Sprowston, who served in the second world war in the 1st and 6th Airborne Divisions in France, Germany, Norway and Palestine, said:
At times like these you lose your sense and proportion of life. All you can think of is those who've passed and the great comradeship that you lost.
His thoughts also turned to those serving in Afghanistan. He said: “
Let's thank God that we have a good nation that supports countries in the world when they are in trouble.
Rita Siddall, from Norwich city centre, was at the service to remember her late father, who fought with the Royal Navy Reserves in Malta in the second world war.

She said;
We should never forget. It's particularly important now, because of what's going on in the world today. This is an event that is significant, even for the younger generation.
After the act of remembrance, which was attended by members of the three armed forces, many representatives from the Royal British Legion and numerous war veterans, there was a march through the city centre to attend a memorial service at Norwich Cathedral.

It was the first time in many years that the act of remembrance was not held in the Memorial Gardens in front of City Hall. The area, which was in poor condition, has been sealed off as builders work on an overhaul.


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