Thousands are expected to join tribute to the fallen
Published 07/11/2008 | 00:17
Thousands of ex-servicemen and women will join dignitaries and members of the public across Northern Ireland this Sunday for the annual Remembrance Day commemorations.
This year’s events will gain a special resonance as 2008 marks the 90th anniversary of the Armistice, which brought to an end to the First World War.
Leading the ceremonies taking places in cites, towns and villages around Northern Ireland will be the service at Belfast City Hall.
Among the figures attending this year’s event are the High Sheriff of Belfast, Councillor Margaret McKenzie, and Lord Lieutenant of Belfast, Lady Carswell.
Church leaders, military commanders and representatives from the United States, Canadian and French consuls will also be in attendance for the ceremony at 11am at the Cenotaph.
There will also be a procession from Church House in Fisherwick Place, which will make its way to the City Hall for the ceremony. Music for the event will be provided by the Band of the Royal Irish Regiment (Territorial Army).
Following a two minute silence at 11am, wreaths will be laid on the Cenotaph on behalf of the Government, the Armed Services and the Royal British Legion, amongst others.
Wreaths will also be laid by a number of ex-servicemen and veteran’s organisations.
The Royal British Legion’s Northern Ireland manager Bill Craig described the 90-year anniversary as a “milestone” for Remembrance Day commemorations.
“It is important for people to turn out and we should never, ever forget the horrors of the First World War and all the subsequent conflicts, including the ones we’re in now,” Mr Craig said.
“We are expecting thousands to turn out on Sunday — possibly more than normal after last Sunday’s parade by the Royal Irish, which really highlighted that so many young men are at war in Afghanistan and Iraq and also in other smaller conflicts.
“It is important to remember that 1968 is the only year that a member of British service personnel has not been killed in active service since the end of the Second World War,” he added.
Londonderry’s main remembrance ceremony will take place at the war memorial in the Diamond at 11am.
Ceremonies will also be held in Newry, Lisburn, Armagh, Coleraine, Ballymena and Ballymoney as well as other venues across the province.