FROM the FIFA poppy scandal to Historic England’s war memorial protection project - which recently gave Worsley Memorial national recognition - the dedication to remembering our wartime fallen, and paying respect to surviving veterans, remains as strong as ever. From The DMWS piloting a new South Manchester Hospital welfare scheme to Feelgood Theatre’s Whispers of Heaton production this weekend, the creation of a Heroes Wood in Debdale Park to dedicated sites like Oldham Remembers, local initiatives abound.
It is extremely important we remember the enormous sacrifices made by the armed forces
And, nationally, the Royal British Legion’s 2016 Poppy Appeal is encouraging Britons to ‘rethink remembrance’ by honouring the sacrifices made by personnel in modern-day conflicts as well those who fought in WW1 and WW2.
Manchester will hold its annual commemoration ceremony, with a parade through the city centre. Led by the Royal Artillery Band and Greater Manchester Police Band, it will depart at 10.20 outside the Radisson Hotel on Peter Street and include; ex servicemen, senior representatives from the Navy, Army, Air Force, Royal British Legion, Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment, Reserve Forces and 207 Field Hospital.
The parade will march to the cenotaph in St Peter’s Square, opposite the Cooper Street entrance of the Town Hall, before the The Scots Guards Association Pipe Band lead a procession of dignitaries - including The Lord Mayor of Manchester Councillor Carl Austin-Behan and the Lord Lieutenant from Central Library - through St Peter's Square and to the cenotaph at 10.40.
A multi-faith service Remembrance Day service will then take place at 10.55, including wreath laying and a two-minute silence, followed by the March Past of Service Organisations outside Central Library from 11.45am to 12.15pm.
Lord Mayor Carl Austin-Behan, who will lead the commemorations, joined the RAF as a firefighter at nineteen and was honoured for rescuing a pilot trapped inside a burning Hawk jet. He said: “I am extremely proud to be leading the commemoration for Remembrance Sunday. It is important that people come out and show their support on occasions like this as we remember and honour all those who have lost their lives in active service.
“Remembrance Sunday gives us time to reflect on past and present conflicts and it is extremely important we remember the enormous sacrifices made by all members of the armed forces. Having served in the RAF I recognise and appreciate the tireless work, dedication and professionalism shown by members of our armed forces while performing their duty. It will be an honour to meet with members of the armed services and faith leaders to mark this solemn day along with the people of Manchester.”
Trams will stop running through St Peter’s Square at approximately 10.45am whilst the service takes place, and are expected to resume shortly after 11.30am. Full details of Remembrance Sunday Metrolink services can be found here.
For full listings of remembrance days near you, check your local council website.