Remembrance Sunday will look very different this year, with residents being asked to remember our armed forces heroes at home – as social distancing measures mean that parades and services have been called off.
This year, as with most things, the 102nd anniversary of the armistice which ended the First World War, has had to adapt, with only small-scale Remembrance Sunday events allowed to go ahead as a special exemption.
On Sunday 8 November, the Lord Mayor of Stoke-on-Trent, Councillor Ross Irving will lay his wreath at a closed outside service at Stoke Cenotaph. He will be joined by Civic and City Dignitaries in 2 groups of 6, socially distanced guests, including Vice Lord Lieutenant – James Leavesley, city council leader Councillor Abi Brown and a nominated veteran to represent all veterans’ associations.
To avoid any crowds gathering and to discourage public attendance, local organisations and charities are being asked to deliver their wreath to the Civic Centre Reception in Stoke-on-Trent on the Thursday or Friday before Remembrance Sunday, and a member of the 16th Signal Regiment will lay the wreath on their behalf on the day.
Any wreaths not delivered in advance, may be laid at the Cenotaph after 12 noon (providing that people observe social distance requirements) once the road closure is lifted and Kingsway car park reopens.
Lord Mayor, Councillor Irving said: “Whilst the safety of our city and all residents is the number one priority, we do understand that people want to pay their respects. We would like to invite organisations, veterans, businesses and residents to ‘Remember at Home’, observe the national 2-minute silence to remember the fallen, either on their doorsteps or watch on line via the city council’s Facebook page. We will be writing to those organisations and companies who usually attend the Civic Service in Stoke to provide information and guidance on wreath laying at Stoke Cenotaph.”
Armed forces Champion, Councillor Lilian Dodd will pay her respects with a wreath at Longton Cenotaph. She added: “Remembrance Sunday is our chance to stand together to remember those who sacrificed so much to keep us safe. This year we cannot do that – this year we cannot stand together. But we can still pay our respects by standing on our doorsteps at 11am on Remembrance Sunday to mark the two-minute silence. We can still remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice and who we will never forget.”
To help you to ‘Remember at Home’ visit the Royal British Legion website to download your window poppy.