Today is The National Day of Reflection to mark exactly one year since the UK went into the first lockdown. On 23rd March, 2020, in a broadcast to the nation, the Prime Minister said, ‘From this evening I must give the British people a very simple instruction – you must stay at home.’ One year ago today more than 25 million viewers tuned in to watch that sombre televised address to the nation when Boris Johnson told us that we were only permitted to leave our homes for essential needs.
Today’s National Day of Reflection is being led by cancer charity Marie Curie and has been supported by the Prime Minister. In remembrance to those who have died from Covid-19 the flag will be flown half-mast over the town hall in St Anne’s. And throughout Lancashire many church bells will toll at noon ringing in the remembrance, followed by a minute’s silence to remember those who have lost their lives during the pandemic – and those whose lives have been so profoundly affected by the dreadful pandemic. To mark this occasion, the Marie Curie Cancer Charity say, ‘Let’s come together to reflect upon our collective loss, support those who have been bereaved, and hope for a brighter future.’
At 8.00 p.m. tonight, many landmarks will also be lit up yellow in memory of all those who have lost their lives to Covid-19. Lancashire residents have been encouraged to shine a light through their open windows or stand outside with a light, a candle, a torch or even a phone, to remember those who have died and to show support to the families and friends of the bereaved.
Angie Ridgwell, chair of the Lancashire Resilience Forum which led our county’s fight against Covid, has paid tribute to the many people who have lost their lives to the virus.
‘The pandemic has brought a lot of things into perspective,’ said Angie. ‘For many, we have learned to really make the most of the time we have with our loved ones, be it on Zoom, Facetime, the phone, or other creative and safe ways we have found. So many people have been taken from us far too soon and my thoughts are with everyone who has been affected. Many sacrifices have been made by the people of Lancashire to prevent even more people falling victim to coronavirus, and for that, I want to say thank you. I also want to implore people not to let your guard down now. As the lockdown eases and we begin returning to some form of normality, we must remember that there are still risks, especially from new variants. Please embrace the new freedoms and remain vigilant; the mantra of hands, face, space will remain a vital tool to help keep the virus at bay. Covid-19 will likely stay with us for some time, but please hold on that community spirit, and remember, there is light at the end of the tunnel.’