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Thousands gather across Northern Ireland to remember the fallen

By Joanne Sweeney

The fallen of the First and Second World Wars were remembered as thousands gathered yesterday to commemorate Armistice Day.

At 11am, people stood in front of cenotaphs in towns and villages across Northern Ireland as workers stopped what they were doing for a two-minute silence as a mark of respect.

The cessation of the Great War between the Allies and Germany happened on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918.

In Belfast, Stormont's Parliament Buildings was lit up in red for the first time to mark the day, in one of four days during the year that the Assembly Commission has selected for illuminating the building.

Sinn Fein Speaker Mitchel McLaughlin led a two-minute silence in the Great Hall and said it was important to show respect.

He said: "Remembrance should be a unifying, not a divisive, concept and my focus is to encourage as many people as possible to be involved in remembrance, regardless of how they choose to do it."

Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness also attended the short service.

The city's first citizen, Lord Mayor Councillor Arder Carson and Deputy Mayor Councillor Guy Spence attended what has been reported to have been the largest public turnout for years.

The Northern Ireland War Memorial in Belfast was the focus of a short but poignant ceremony to commemorate Armistice Day.

Elsewhere in Enniskillen, Councillor Paul Robinson, deputy chair of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, attended a remembrance service at Portora Royal School.

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