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National anthem row Armistice Day event 'was meant to be all-inclusive'

Published 13/11/2015

Stormont's Parliament Buildings illuminated in red for Armistice Day
Stormont's Parliament Buildings illuminated in red for Armistice Day
Stormont Parliament Buildings lit up red for Armistice Day in Belfast, Northern Ireland on November 11 2015 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)
Stormont Parliament Buildings lit up red for Armistice Day in Belfast, Northern Ireland on November 11 2015 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)
Stormont's Parliament Buildings have been illuminated in red for Armistice Day. Matt Mackey/Presseye

A Stormont Armistice Day event which sparked a row over the national anthem was meant to be all-inclusive, the speaker of the Northern Ireland Assembly has said.

Mitchel McLaughlin, who was the first Sinn Fein MLA to lead the act of remembrance at Parliament Buildings, has written to MLAs urging them to resolve their differences around commemoration.

He said: "How we reflect and commemorate together is a challenge which all of us have to resolve in the coming years.

"We can design fully separate events, which would be missed opportunities, or we can work together to take account of each other's sensitivities and differences to produce shared and inclusive events which would be beneficial to us all."

Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers joined unionists and nationalists including Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness at the wreath-laying event in Stormont's Great Hall on Wednesday.

As the ceremony finished Sammy Morrison, a press officer for the Traditional Unionist Voice party, began an impromptu rendition of the national anthem.

Other unionists also joined in the spontaneous song.

The move was branded a childish stunt by some politicians as singing of the national anthem was not on the printed order of service

Sinn Fein Culture Minister Caral Ni Chuilin said: "It was disappointing therefore that some unionists chose to disrespect the spirit of the event with a childish stunt in an attempt to embarrass those in attendance."

Ulster Unionist Party leader Mike Nesbitt said it was unfortunate that some nationalists felt "ambushed".

Stormont Parliament Buildings lit up red for Armistice Day in Belfast, Northern Ireland on November 11 2015 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)
Stormont Parliament Buildings lit up red for Armistice Day in Belfast, Northern Ireland on November 11 2015 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)
Stormont Parliament Buildings lit up red for Armistice Day in Belfast, Northern Ireland on November 11 2015 (Photo by Kevin Scott / Belfast Telegraph)
A two-minute silence takes place at Belfast City Hall on Wednesday to mark Armistice Day, to commemorate the dead of two world wars, and every conflict since. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Bob Brooks (who fought in Burma in WW2) during A two-minute silence which took place at Belfast City Hall on Wednesday to mark Armistice Day, to commemorate the dead of two world wars, and every conflict since. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Belfast, Lord Mayor Arder Carson among those who attended A two-minute silence takes place at Belfast City Hall on Wednesday to mark Armistice Day, to commemorate the dead of two world wars, and every conflict since. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
A two-minute silence takes place at Belfast City Hall on Wednesday to mark Armistice Day, to commemorate the dead of two world wars, and every conflict since. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
A two-minute silence takes place at Belfast City Hall on Wednesday to mark Armistice Day, to commemorate the dead of two world wars, and every conflict since. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Belfast, Lord Mayor Arder Carson among those who attended A two-minute silence takes place at Belfast City Hall on Wednesday to mark Armistice Day, to commemorate the dead of two world wars, and every conflict since. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Bob Brooks (who fought in Burma in WW2) during A two-minute silence which took place at Belfast City Hall on Wednesday to mark Armistice Day, to commemorate the dead of two world wars, and every conflict since. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Belfast, Lord Mayor Arder Carson among those who attended A two-minute silence takes place at Belfast City Hall on Wednesday to mark Armistice Day, to commemorate the dead of two world wars, and every conflict since. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
A two-minute silence takes place at Belfast City Hall on Wednesday to mark Armistice Day, to commemorate the dead of two world wars, and every conflict since. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
A two-minute silence takes place at Belfast City Hall on Wednesday to mark Armistice Day, to commemorate the dead of two world wars, and every conflict since. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
A two-minute silence takes place at Belfast City Hall on Wednesday to mark Armistice Day, to commemorate the dead of two world wars, and every conflict since. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
A two-minute silence takes place at Belfast City Hall on Wednesday to mark Armistice Day, to commemorate the dead of two world wars, and every conflict since. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
Pacemaker Press 11/11/2015 A two-minute silence takes place at Belfast City Hall on Wednesday to mark Armistice Day, to commemorate the dead of two world wars, and every conflict since. Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker
French President Francois Hollande arrives at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris on November 11, 2015 during the Armistice Day commemorations marking the end of World War I. AFP PHOTO / POOL / FRANCOIS MORIFRANCOIS MORI/AFP/Getty Images
French President Francois Hollande attends a ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris on November 11, 2015 during the Armistice Day commemorations marking the end of World War I. AFP PHOTO / POOL / FRANCOIS MORIFRANCOIS MORI/AFP/Getty Images
French President Francois Hollande lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris on November 11, 2015 during the Armistice Day commemorations marking the end of World War I. AFP PHOTO / POOL / FRANCOIS MORIFRANCOIS MORI/AFP/Getty Images
Charlotte, the niece of a French veteran, attends a ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris on November 11, 2015 during the Armistice Day commemorations marking the end of World War I. AFP PHOTO / POOL / FRANCOIS MORIFRANCOIS MORI/AFP/Getty Images
French President Francois Hollande lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris on November 11, 2015 during the Armistice Day commemorations marking the end of World War I. AFP PHOTO / POOL / FRANCOIS MORIFRANCOIS MORI/AFP/Getty Images
French President Francois Hollande arrives at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris on November 11, 2015 during the Armistice Day commemorations marking the end of World War I. AFP PHOTO / POOL / FRANCOIS MORIFRANCOIS MORI/AFP/Getty Images
French President Francois Hollande greets veterans at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier under the Arc de Triomphe in Paris on November 11, 2015 during the Armistice Day commemorations marking the end of World War I. AFP PHOTO / POOL / FRANCOIS MORIFRANCOIS MORI/AFP/Getty Images
French President Francois Hollande (L) reviews troops and veterans during Armistice Day ceremonies marking the 97th anniversary of the end of World War I, on November 11, 2015 at the Arc de Triomphe monument in Paris. AFP PHOTO/POOL/ERIC FEFERBERGERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images
Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy (3rd L), President of the French Senate, Gerard Larcher (C), French Prime Minister Manuel Valls (2ndR), President of the French National Assembly, Claude Bartolone (R) and French Defence minister Jean-Yves Le Drian (2ndL) attend the Armistice Day ceremonies marking the 97th anniversary of the end of World War I, on November 11, 2015 at the Arc de Triomphe monument in Paris. AFP PHOTO/POOL/ERIC FEFERBERGERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images
French President leaves after the Armistice Day ceremonies marking the 97th anniversary of the end of World War I, on November 11, 2015 on the Champs Elysee in Paris. AFP PHOTO/POOL/ERIC FEFERBERGERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images
French President Francois Hollande (C) attends a ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris on November 11, 2015 during Armistice Day commemorations marking the 97th anniversary of the end of World War I. AFP PHOTO / POOL / JACKY NAEGELENJACKY NAEGELEN/AFP/Getty Images
French President Francois Hollande meets with veterans at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris on November 11, 2015 during Armistice Day commemorations marking the 97th anniversary of the end of World War I. AFP PHOTO / POOL / JACKY NAEGELENJACKY NAEGELEN/AFP/Getty Images
Veterans, standard-bearers and officials attend Armistice Day ceremonies marking the 97th anniversary of the end of World War I, on November 11, 2015 at the Saint-Mihiel American cemetery in Thiaucourt-Regnieville, northeastern France, on November 11, 2015. AFP PHOTO / JEAN-CHRISTOPHE VERHAEGENJEAN-CHRISTOPHE VERHAEGEN/AFP/Getty Images
Veterans and officials attend Armistice Day ceremonies marking the 97th anniversary of the end of World War I, on November 11, 2015 at the Saint-Mihiel American cemetery in Thiaucourt-Regnieville, northeastern France, on November 11, 2015. AFP PHOTO / JEAN-CHRISTOPHE VERHAEGENJEAN-CHRISTOPHE VERHAEGEN/AFP/Getty Images
Veterans, standard-bearers and officials attend Armistice Day ceremonies marking the 97th anniversary of the end of World War I, on November 11, 2015 at the Saint-Mihiel American cemetery in Thiaucourt-Regnieville, northeastern France, on November 11, 2015. AFP PHOTO / JEAN-CHRISTOPHE VERHAEGENJEAN-CHRISTOPHE VERHAEGEN/AFP/Getty Images
French President Francois Hollande (C) lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown soldier, during Armistice Day ceremonies marking the 97th anniversary of the end of World War I, on November 11, 2015 at the Arc de Triomphe monument in Paris. AFP PHOTO/POOL/ERIC FEFERBERGERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images
French President Francois Hollande (C) stands at attention while laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown soldier, during Armistice Day ceremonies marking the 97th anniversary of the end of World War I, on November 11, 2015 at the Arc de Triomphe monument in Paris. AFP PHOTO/POOL/ERIC FEFERBERGERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images
French President Francois Hollande (R) shakes hand with former French President Nicolas Sarkozy (L) as President of the French Senate, Gerard Larcher (2nd L), French Prime Minister Manuel Valls (3rd L) and President of the French National Assembly, Claude Bartolone (Rear C) look on, during Armistice Day ceremonies marking the 97th anniversary of the end of World War I, on November 11, 2015 near the Arc de Triomphe monument in Paris. AFP PHOTO/POOL/ERIC FEFERBERGERIC FEFERBERG/AFP/Getty Images
A red rose is placed on a tombstone at the French soldiers' cemetery in Belgrade on November 11, 2015 during Armistice Day commemorations marking the 97th anniversary of the end of World War I. AFP PHOTO / ANDREJ ISAKOVICANDREJ ISAKOVIC/AFP/Getty Images
A woman visits the French soldiers' cemetery in Belgrade on November 11, 2015 during Armistice Day commemorations marking the 97th anniversary of the end of World War I. AFP PHOTO / ANDREJ ISAKOVICANDREJ ISAKOVIC/AFP/Getty Images
A woman visits the French soldiers' cemetery in Belgrade on November 11, 2015 during Armistice Day commemorations marking the 97th anniversary of the end of World War I. AFP PHOTO / ANDREJ ISAKOVICANDREJ ISAKOVIC/AFP/Getty Images
A British Royal officer visits the French soldiers' cemetery in Belgrade on November 11, 2015 during Armistice Day commemorations marking the 97th anniversary of the end of World War I. AFP PHOTO / ANDREJ ISAKOVICANDREJ ISAKOVIC/AFP/Getty Images
A British Royal officer holds a wreath of poppies at the French soldiers' cemetery in Belgrade on November 11, 2015 during Armistice Day commemorations marking the 97th anniversary of the end of World War I. AFP PHOTO / ANDREJ ISAKOVICANDREJ ISAKOVIC/AFP/Getty Images
A Serbian flag flutters as French army cadet stands at attention at the French soldiers' cemetery in Belgrade on November 11, 2015 during Armistice Day commemorations marking the 97th anniversary of the end of World War I. AFP PHOTO / ANDREJ ISAKOVICANDREJ ISAKOVIC/AFP/Getty Images
Serbian army soldiers stand at attention at the French soldiers' cemetery in Belgrade on November 11, 2015 during Armistice Day commemorations marking the 97th anniversary of the end of World War I. AFP PHOTO / ANDREJ ISAKOVICANDREJ ISAKOVIC/AFP/Getty Images
A Serbian army soldier and French army cadet stand at attention at the French soldiers' cemetery in Belgrade on November 11, 2015 during Armistice Day commemorations marking the 97th anniversary of the end of World War I. AFP PHOTO / ANDREJ ISAKOVICANDREJ ISAKOVIC/AFP/Getty Images
Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo (2nd-L) attends a ceremony in front of the statue of Georges Clemenceau in Paris on November 11, 2015 during Armistice Day commemorations marking the 97th anniversary of the end of World War I. AFP PHOTO / POOL / ETIENNE LAURENTETIENNE LAURENT/AFP/Getty Images
Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo lays a wreath in front of the statue of Georges Clemenceau in Paris on November 11, 2015 during Armistice Day commemorations marking the 97th anniversary of the end of World War I. AFP PHOTO / POOL / ETIENNE LAURENTETIENNE LAURENT/AFP/Getty Images
French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian attends a ceremony in front of the statue of Georges Clemenceau in Paris on November 11, 2015 during Armistice Day commemorations marking the 97th anniversary of the end of World War I. AFP PHOTO / POOL / ETIENNE LAURENTETIENNE LAURENT/AFP/Getty Images
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls (L) listens to French national assembly president Claude Bartolone as they attend a ceremony in front of the statue of Georges Clemenceau in Paris on November 11, 2015 during Armistice Day commemorations marking the 97th anniversary of the end of World War I. AFP PHOTO / POOL / ETIENNE LAURENTETIENNE LAURENT/AFP/Getty Images
French President Francois Hollande (L) attends a ceremony in front of the statue of Georges Clemenceau in Paris on November 11, 2015 during Armistice Day commemorations marking the 97th anniversary of the end of World War I. AFP PHOTO / POOL / ETIENNE LAURENTETIENNE LAURENT/AFP/Getty Images
French President Francois Hollande attends a ceremony in front of the statue of Georges Clemenceau in Paris on November 11, 2015 during Armistice Day commemorations marking the 97th anniversary of the end of World War I. AFP PHOTO / POOL / ETIENNE LAURENTETIENNE LAURENT/AFP/Getty Images
French President Francois Hollande prepares to lay a wreath in front of the statue of Georges Clemenceau in Paris on November 11, 2015 during Armistice Day commemorations marking the 97th anniversary of the end of World War I. AFP PHOTO / POOL / ETIENNE LAURENTETIENNE LAURENT/AFP/Getty Images
File photo dated 6/11/2015 of ceramic poppies from the Weeping Window, part of the Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red artwork. The nation will fall silent today to mark Armistice Day and remember those who fought and died for Britain. Photo credit should read: Peter Byrne/PA Wire
Poppies placed next to the sculpture Eleven 'O' One in Seaham, County Durham, ahead of two minutes silence to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War. POwen Humphreys/PA Wire
Larry Roberts, 60, a veteran from South Shields who served with the Royal Green Jackets, looks at the sculpture Eleven 'O' One in Seaham, County Durham, ahead of playing the bugle at a ceremony to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War. Owen Humphreys/PA Wire
Larry Roberts, 60, a veteran from South Shields who served with the Royal Green Jackets, looks at the sculpture Eleven 'O' One in Seaham, County Durham, ahead of playing the bugle at a ceremony to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War. Owen Humphreys/PA Wire
A poppy in Trafalgar Square, London, before two minutes silence is observed to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War. Lauren Hurley/PA Wire
A general view of Trafalgar Square, London, before a two minutes silence is observed to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War. Lauren Hurley/PA Wire
Members of London Community Gospel Choir throw poppies in Trafalgar Square, London, before two minutes silence is observed to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War. Photo credit should read: Lauren Hurley/PA Wire
Two minutes silence is observed at the Cenotaph monument in George Square, Glasgow to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War. Photo credit should read: Danny Lawson/PA Wire
Handout photo issued by the MoD of 33 Engineer Squadron (EOD) and 1st Battalion The Rifles, who have been training members of the Iraqi Army in Besmaya, Iraq, taking part in a Remembrance Day Ceremony to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War.Photo credit should read: Cpl Alex Scott/MoD Crown Copyright/PA Wire
Veterans walk past the Memorial Wall at the Battle of Britain memorial on Capel le Ferne, Folkestone, following two minutes silence to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday November 11, 2015. See PA story MEMORIAL Armistice. Photo credit should read: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire
Handout photo issued by the MoD of Rebecca Rigby, the widow of murdered Fusilier Lee Rigby, and son Jack as they attend a service at St George's Chapel in Woolwich, to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War. Sgt Rupert Frere/MoD/Crown Copyright//PA Wire
Handout photo issued by the MoD of personnel from the three Armed Services at the Cenotaph in Whitehall, London, during a Remembrance Day Ceremony to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War. POA(Phot) Owen Cooban/MoD Crown Copyright/PA Wire
Handout photo issued by the MoD of Military Officers at the Cenotaph in Whitehall, London, during a Remembrance Day Ceremony to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War. POA(Phot) Owen Cooban/MoD Crown Copyright/PA Wire
Handout photo issued by the MoD of military pipers playing at the Cenotaph in Whitehall, London, during a Remembrance Day Ceremony to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War. POA(Phot) Owen Cooban/MoD Crown Copyright/PA Wire
Handout photo issued by the MoD of school children paying their respects at the Cenotaph in Whitehall, London, during a Remembrance Day Ceremony to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War. POA(Phot) Owen Cooban/MoD Crown Copyright/PA Wire
Handout photo issued by the MoD of wreaths laid next to the Cenotaph in Whitehall, London, during a Remembrance Day Ceremony to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War. POA(Phot) Owen Cooban/MoD Crown Copyright/PA Wire
Handout photo issued by the MoD of Chief of the Defence Staff Sir David Richards with other high ranking officers at the Cenotaph in Whitehall, London, during a Remembrance Day Ceremony to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War. POA(Phot) Owen Cooban/MoD Crown Copyright/PA Wire
Handout photo issued by the MoD of Minister for the Armed Forces, Penny Mordaunt, at the Cenotaph in Whitehall, London, during a Remembrance Day Ceremony to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War. POA(Phot) Owen Cooban/MoD Crown Copyright/PA Wire
Two minutes silence is observed at the Cenotaph monument in George Square, Glasgow to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War. Danny Lawson/PA Wire
Two minutes silence is observed at the Cenotaph monument in George Square, Glasgow to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War. Danny Lawson/PA Wire
Two minutes silence is observed at the Cenotaph monument in George Square, Glasgow to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War. Danny Lawson/PA Wire
Two minutes silence is observed at the Cenotaph monument in George Square, Glasgow to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday November 11, 2015. See PA story MEMORIAL Armistice. Photo credit should read: Danny Lawson/PA Wire
Handout photo issued by the MoD of 33 Engineer Squadron (EOD) and 1st Battalion The Rifles, who have been training members of the Iraqi Army in Besmaya, Iraq, taking part in a Remembrance Day Ceremony to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War. Cpl Alex Scott/MoD Crown Copyright/PA Wire
Handout photo issued by the MoD of 33 Engineer Squadron (EOD) and 1st Battalion The Rifles, who have been training members of the Iraqi Army in Besmaya, Iraq, taking part in a Remembrance Day Ceremony to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War. Cpl Alex Scott/MoD Crown Copyright/PA Wire
Handout photo issued by the MoD of officers and soldiers from 2 Royal Gurkha Rifles (2RGR) observing a two minute silence at Shorecliffe Barracks in Kent to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War. Dharamprakash Limbu/MoD Crown Copyright/PA Wire
The Princess Royal views names of fallen service men and women on the Armed Forces Memorial after a service at the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, Staffordshire to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War. Joe Giddens/PA Wire
Schoolchildren pose for a photo as part of the #TwoMinuteSilence campaign in Trafalgar Square, London, before two minutes silence is observed to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War. Lauren Hurley/PA Wire
RETRANSMITTING TO AMEND SPELLING OF CYNDY First year pupils Harrison Clayden (left) and Cyndy Alima lay a wreath in the Chapel at Brentwood School in Brentwood, Essex to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War. Nick Ansell/PA Wire
World War II veterans pay their respects at the Battle of Britain memorial on Capel le Ferne, Folkestone, to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War. Gareth Fuller/PA Wire
The Princess Royal speaks during a service at the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, Staffordshire to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War. Joe Giddens/PA Wire
WW2 veteran Danny McCrudden performs at Trafalgar Square in London, before two minutes silence is observed to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War. Lauren Hurley/PA Wire
Ben Shephard at Trafalgar Square in London, before a two minute silence is observed to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War. Lauren Hurley/PA Wire
The Overtones perform at Trafalgar Square in London, before two minutes silence is observed to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War. Lauren Hurley/PA Wire
Two minutes silence is observed in Trafalgar Square, London, to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War. Lauren Hurley/PA Wire
Seth Lakeman performs at Trafalgar Square in London, before two minutes silence is observed to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War. Lauren Hurley/PA Wire
Chelsea Pensioners James Fellows (left) and David Grant (right) following a service at the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, Staffordshire to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War. Joe Giddens/PA Wire
The wreath laid by The Princess Royal during a service at National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, Staffordshire to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War. Joe Giddens/PA Wire
The Princess Royal observes a two minute silence alongside Lord Lieutenant of Staffordshire Ian Dudson (left) and National Vice Chairman of the Royal British Legion Terry Whittle (right) during a service at National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, Staffordshire to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War. Joe Giddens/PA Wire
The Princess Royal during a service at National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, Staffordshire to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War. Joe Giddens/PA Wire
A standard bearer lowers his flag as two minutes silence is observed at the Battle of Britain memorial on Capel le Ferne, Folkestone, to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War. Gareth Fuller/PA Wire
A man throws poppies in the fountain at Trafalgar Square, central London, before a two minute silence is observed to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War. Lauren Hurley/PA Wire
A lady throws poppies in the fountain at Trafalgar Square, central London, before a two minute silence is observed to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War. Lauren Hurley/PA Wire
Members of the public throw poppies in the fountain at Trafalgar Square, central London, before a two minute silence is observed to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War. Lauren Hurley/PA Wire
A note on a wreath laid on behalf of the people of Royal Wootton Bassett on the War Memorial on the high street in Royal Wootton Bassett in Wiltshire where a two minutes silence was held to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War.Andrew Matthews/PA Wire
Royal British Legion standard bearers walk out before the two minutes silence is observed in Royal Wootton Bassett in Wiltshire to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War. Andrew Matthews/PA Wire
Two minutes silence is observed by the sculpture Eleven 'O' One in Seaham, County Durham, to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday November 11, 2015. The statue of the WWI soldier, built out of special corteen steel, nicknamed 'Tommy' by locals was installed to mark the centenary of the start of the Great War. Owen Humphreys/PA Wire
Members of the public and veterans gather to observe a two minutes silence in Royal Wootton Bassett to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War. Andrew Matthews/PA Wire
A view of the words Lest We Forget on the War Memorial on the high street in Royal Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire, where a two minutes silence was held to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War. Andrew Matthews/PA Wire
Two minutes silence is observed by John Hellewell in Trafalgar Square, central London to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War. Lauren Hurley/PA Wire
Veterans lay wreaths at the War Memorial on the high street in Royal Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire, where a two minutes silence was held to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War.Andrew Matthews/PA Wire
Two minutes silence is observed in Trafalgar Square, central London to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War. Lauren Hurley/PA Wire
A homemade woollen poppy worn by a member of the public in Royal Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire, where a two minutes silence was held to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War. Andrew Matthews/PA Wire
Members of the public and veterans gather to observe a two minutes silence in Royal Wootton Bassett to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War. Andrew Matthews/PA Wire
Cllr Ian Ferries, Mayor of Royal Wootton Bassett (2nd right) and North Wiltshire MP James Gray (left) join members of the public and veterans in a two minutes silence in Royal Wootton Bassett in Wiltshire to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War. Andrew Matthews/PA Wire
Reverend Vicki Burrows leads prayers at the War Memorial on the high street in Royal Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire, where a two minutes silence was held to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War. Andrew Matthews/PA Wire
Two minutes silence is observed by the sculpture Eleven 'O' One in Seaham, County Durham, to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday November 11, 2015. The statue of the WWI soldier, built out of special corteen steel, nicknamed 'Tommy' by locals was installed to mark the centenary of the start of the Great War. Owen Humphreys/PA Wire
A musician plays a violin made from sycamore and pine trees that grew in the former battlefields on the Western Front after a two minute silence was observed at the Imperial War Museum in London to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War. Anthony Devlin/PA Wire
A bugler plays the last post before a two minute silence is observed at the Imperial War Museum in London to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War. Anthony Devlin/PA Wire
A musician plays a violin made from sycamore and pine trees that grew in the former battlefields on the Western Front after a two minute silence was observed at the Imperial War Museum in London to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War. Anthony Devlin/PA Wire
First year pupils Harrison Clayden (left) and Cindy Alima lay a wreath in the Chapel at Brentwood School in Brentwood, Essex to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War. Nick Ansell/PA Wire
Veterans attend a ceremony at the sculpture Eleven 'O' One in Seaham, County Durham, to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday November 11, 2015. The statue of the WWI soldier, built out of special corteen steel, nicknamed 'Tommy' by locals was installed to mark the centenary of the start of the Great War. Owen Humphreys/PA Wire
A rainbow appears above the sculpture Eleven 'O' One in Seaham, County Durham, ahead of a ceremony to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday November 11, 2015. The statue of the WWI soldier, built out of special corteen steel, nicknamed 'Tommy' by locals was installed to mark the centenary of the start of the Great War. Owen Humphreys/PA Wire
Larry Roberts, 60, a veteran from South Shields who served with the Royal Green Jackets, plays the bugle during a ceremony at the sculpture Eleven 'O' One in Seaham, County Durham, to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War. Owen Humphreys/PA Wire
Two minutes silence is observed by pupils at Comberton Village College in Comberton, Cambridgeshire, to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War. Chris Radburn/PA Wire
Two minutes silence is observed by the sculpture Eleven 'O' One in Seaham, County Durham to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday November 11, 2015. The statue of the WWI soldier, built out of special corteen steel, nicknamed 'Tommy' by locals was installed to mark the centenary of the start of the Great War. Owen Humphreys/PA Wire
Handout photo issued by the MoD of Rebecca Rigby (left), the widow of murdered Fusilier Lee Rigby, and son Jack as they attend a service at St George's Chapel in Woolwich, to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War. Sgt Rupert Frere/MoD/Crown Copyright//PA Wire
Handout photo issued by the MoD of a message written on a wreath by Jack Rigby, son of murdered Fusilier Lee Rigby, as he attends a service at St George's Chapel in Woolwich, to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War. Sgt Rupert Frere/MoD/Crown Copyright//PA Wire
Two minutes silence is observed by pupils at Sunnyside Spencer Academy in Nottingham to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War. Simon Cooper/PA Wire
Two minutes silence is observed by pupils at Sunnyside Spencer Academy in Nottingham to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War. Simon Cooper/PA Wire
Two minutes silence is observed by pupils at Sunnyside Spencer Academy in Nottingham to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War. Simon Cooper/PA Wire
Two minutes silence is observed by pupils at Sunnyside Spencer Academy in Nottingham to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War. Simon Cooper/PA Wire
Two minutes silence is observed in Terminal 5, Heathrow Airport to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War. Steve Parsons/PA Wire
Two minutes silence is observed at the Imperial War Museum in London to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War.Anthony Devlin/PA Wire
Two minutes silence is observed at the Imperial War Museum in London to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War. Anthony Devlin/PA Wire
Poppies fall as a two minutes silence is observed in Liverpool to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War. Peter Byrne/PA Wire
Two minutes silence is observed at the Imperial War Museum in London to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War. Anthony Devlin/PA Wire
Two minutes silence is observed at Lloyd's of London to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War. Jonathan Brady/PA Wire
Two minutes silence is observed at Lloyd's of London to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War. Jonathan Brady/PA Wire
Two minutes silence is observed at Lloyd's of London to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War. Jonathan Brady/PA Wire
Two minutes silence is observed in Terminal 5, Heathrow Airport to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War. Steve Parsons/PA Wire
Two minutes silence is observed in Terminal 5, Heathrow Airport to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War. Steve Parsons/PA Wire
Two minutes silence is observed in Royal Wootton Bassett in Wiltshire to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War. Andrew Matthews/PA Wire
Two minutes silence is observed by pupils at Comberton Village College in Comberton, Cambridgeshire, to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War. Chris Radburn/PA Wire
Poppies fall as a two minutes silence is observed in Liverpool to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War. Peter Byrne/PA Wire
Two minutes silence is observed by pupils at Comberton Village College in Comberton, Cambridgeshire, to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War. Chris Radburn/PA Wire
Two minutes silence is observed in Liverpool to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War. Peter Byrne/PA Wire
Two minutes silence is observed at the Cenotaph monument in George Square, Glasgow to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War Danny Lawson/PA Wire
Handout photo issued by the MoD of soldiers from the Royal Gurkha Regiment standing guard around the Cenotaph in Whitehall, London, during a Remembrance Day Ceremony to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War. POA(Phot) Owen Cooban/MoD Crown Copyright/PA Wire
Handout photo issued by the MoD of a member of the Royal Gurkha Regiment guarding the Cenotaph in Whitehall, London, during a Remembrance Day Ceremony to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War. POA(Phot) Owen Cooban/MoD Crown Copyright/PA Wire
Janet Wilson selling poppies in St George's Hall, Liverpool, ahead of a two minutes silence to mark Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the First World War. Peter Byrne/PA Wire
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull lays a wreath during a remembrance service attended by Britain's Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cambridge at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra on November 11, 2015. Armistice Day is observed on November 11, the anniversary of the 1918 signing of the peace that ended fighting in World War I. AFP PHOTO / MARK GRAHAMMARK GRAHAM/AFP/Getty Images
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull lays a wreath during a remembrance service attended by Britain's Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cambridge at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra on November 11, 2015. Armistice Day is observed on November 11, the anniversary of the 1918 signing of the peace that ended fighting in World War I. AFP PHOTO / MARK GRAHAMMARK GRAHAM/AFP/Getty Images
Former Australian prime minister Tony Abbott (R) and a former staffer (L) attend a remembrance service attended by Britain's Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cambridge at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra on November 11, 2015. Armistice Day is observed on November 11, the anniversary of the 1918 signing of the peace that ended fighting in World War I. AFP PHOTO / MARK GRAHAMMARK GRAHAM/AFP/Getty Images
Former Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd (L) attends a remembrance service attended by Britain's Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cambridge at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra on November 11, 2015. Armistice Day is observed on November 11, the anniversary of the 1918 signing of the peace that ended fighting in World War I. AFP PHOTO / MARK GRAHAMMARK GRAHAM/AFP/Getty Images
A shadow of a member of the armed forces appears on the plaque of names inscribed on the Armed Forces Memorial during an Armistice Day service of remembrance at the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, central England on November 11, 2015. The Armed Forces Memorial is to undergo a year-long programme of repairs and improvements, starting on November 12, 2015. AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLISPAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images
Standard bearers prepare for an Armistice Day service of remembrance at the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, central England on November 11, 2015. The Armed Forces Memorial is to undergo a year-long programme of repairs and improvements, starting on November 12, 2015. AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLISPAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images
A member of the armed forces looks at names inscribed on the Armed Forces Memorial during an Armistice Day service of remembrance at the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, central England on November 11, 2015. The Armed Forces Memorial is to undergo a year-long programme of repairs and improvements, starting on November 12, 2015. AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLISPAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images
Members of the armed forces look at wreaths laid at the Armed Forces Memorial during an Armistice Day service of remembrance at the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, central England on November 11, 2015. The Armed Forces Memorial is to undergo a year-long programme of repairs and improvements, starting on November 12, 2015. AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLISPAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images
Chelsea Pensioners walk away after an Armistice Day service of remembrance at the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, central England on November 11, 2015. The Armed Forces Memorial is to undergo a year-long programme of repairs and improvements, starting on November 12, 2015. AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLISPAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images
A member of the armed forces looks at names inscribed on the Armed Forces Memorial during an Armistice Day service of remembrance at the National Memorial Arboretum in Alrewas, central England on November 11, 2015. The Armed Forces Memorial is to undergo a year-long programme of repairs and improvements, starting on November 12, 2015. AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLISPAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images

In his letter, which was sent to all 108 elected representatives in the Assembly, Mr McLaughlin claimed such an inclusive remembrance event at Stormont could not have been envisaged a decade ago.

He added: "When I look back on my time as Speaker I will recall the view from the podium as I presided over the two minutes silence and looked out over many faces from many backgrounds gathered together in the cause of remembrance. That would have been unimaginable 10 or 20 years ago."

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