Calls for national day of reflection to mark anniversary of first Covid lockdown

The Prime Minister and other political leaders have backed plans to hold a national day of reflection marking the anniversary of the first coronavirus lockdown.

Saturday, 13th March 2021, 6:00 am
The Prime Minister and other political leaders have backed plans to hold a national day of reflection

The end of life charity Marie Curie is planning a day of reflection to remember those who have died for March 23 – exactly a year since the UK was first told to stay at home.

It will include a minute’s silence at 12pm followed by a bell toll, and people are being encouraged to stand on their doorsteps at 8pm with phones, candles and torches to signify a “beacon of remembrance”.

Boris Johnson said he will observe the minute’s silence at noon privately, while the head of the NHS Sir Simon Stevens has also lent his support.

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Mr Johnson said: “This has been an incredibly difficult year. My thoughts are with all those who have lost loved ones, and who have not been able to pay tribute to them in the way they would have wanted.

“As we continue to make progress against the virus, I want to thank people for the sacrifices they continue to make, and hope they can look forward to being reunited with loved ones as restrictions are cautiously eased.”

Marie Curie chief executive Matthew Reed said: “The last year has been one of the most traumatic and uniting in modern history. With so many of us losing someone close, our shared sense of loss is incomparable to anything felt by this generation.

“Many of us have been unable to say a real goodbye or comfort our family, friends and colleagues in their grief. We need to acknowledge that.

“That’s why, on March 23, it is important that we all come together to reflect on our collective loss, celebrate the lives of the special people no longer here, support those who’ve been bereaved and look towards a much brighter future.”