WE WILL RE­MEM­BER

Sunderland Echo - - Front page - By Jeremy Wright Cul­ture Sec­re­tary

At 11 o’clock on Novem­ber 11 we will once more come to­gether as a na­tion to re­mem­ber all those who have given their lives in the ser­vice of our coun­try. But this year, the Na­tional Ser­vice of Re­mem­brance at the Ceno­taph will take on ad­di­tional poignancy as it marks the mo­ment a cen­tury ago when the guns fi­nally fell silent on the Western Front.

Over the last four years of the Cen­te­nary, we have told the story of the First World War. We have en­cour­aged peo­ple to come to­gether to re­mem­ber and give thanks for the ser­vice of a unique gen­er­a­tion, to learn more about their sto­ries and ex­pe­ri­ences and to im­prove our un­der­stand­ing of the im­pact of the war at home and across the world. In 2018, we have held com­mem­o­ra­tions to learn more about how the war con­cluded and the un­fold­ing of the path to peace. It is now time for us to give thanks for that peace and for those who re­turned home to help build the world we live in today. Our com­mem­o­ra­tions for the Cen­te­nary of the Ar­mistice will re­flect not only the joy and re­lief that was felt through­out the coun­try but also the un­cer­tainty of the times ahead. As news of the Ar­mistice spread in 1918, church bells which had fallen silent across the UK dur­ing the war, rang out in cel­e­bra­tion. At 12:30 on Novem­ber 11, 2018, as part of an ini­tia­tive sup­ported by the Ger­man Govern­ment, bells will start to ring out across the world as they did 100 years ago, join­ing na­tions to­gether in repli­cat­ing this mo­ment of joy.

At the same time, in a mov­ing dis­play of grat­i­tude to all those who served, 10,000 peo­ple will walk past the Ceno­taph as part of a “A Na­tion’s Thank You - The Peo­ple’s Pro­ces­sion” recog­nis­ing the sig­nif­i­cance of the end of the First World War.

In the evening, West­min­ster Abbey will host our na­tional com­mem­o­ra­tion to mark the cen­te­nary of the Ar­mistice, re­flect­ing with grat­i­tude on the longed-for peace while recog­nis­ing the chal­lenges that faced our an­ces­tors.

My own fam­ily played their part in the war ef­fort 100 years ago and I am proud to hon­our them as we mark this im­por­tant date. I hope that by com­ing to­gether as a coun­try in th­ese im­por­tant com­mem­o­ra­tions we can cre­ate a legacy that will see more peo­ple dis­cover their own con­nec­tions to the First World War. It is also im­por­tant that we con­tinue to re­mem­ber this sig­nif­i­cant part of our his­tory af­ter this cen­te­nary pe­riod is over.

The four long years of war saw in­cred­i­ble brav­ery and hero­ism and this week, I hope we will all stand to­gether to say ‘we will re­mem­ber them’.

Join peo­ple from around the world and repli­cate the spon­ta­neous out­pour­ing of re­lief that took place at the end of the war in 1918 by ring­ingbells at 12.30pm on Novem­ber 11

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