The people of Leicester attended the annual Remembrance Day service today to honour members of the armed forces who have lost their lives in the line of duty.
Military leaders, official dignitaries and representatives from different faiths gathered to pay their respects and to lay wreaths at Edwin Lutyens’ Arch of Remembrance in Victoria Park, near the city centre this morning.
The event was the city’s first full Remembrance Day service since 2019, after last year’s was scaled down due to covid-19 restrictions.
Reverend Martyn Snow, Bishop of Leicester led the service, which began shortly before 11am – when the entire audience took part in a two-minute silence to remember the lives lost.
Among the crowds stood veterans and the families of serving or former service personnel who came to show their support.
Barry Seaton, said he fought in what he called the “forgotten war”, when he was deployed to Northern Ireland in 1981.
He said: “I’m here today to remember the lives of all my friends lost in Northern Ireland.
“I saw them blown up in front of my eyes and I’m here to remember them and and the lives of all the other soldiers who have put their lives on the line.”
Maisie Smith said she was there to remember her grandad, who fought in Burma during the Second World War.
She said: “I was, and still am so proud of my grandad. He used to tell us stories about his days in Burma all the time when we were young.
“If he was still here today, he’d be standing with me strong and proud of the country he fought for.”
Tom Davies said he brought his family along to the service to teach his children about the meaning behind the poppy.
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He said: “My little girl asked me why I wear the poppy and I wanted to show her what it’s all about.
“Soldiers have died for our country and I wanted to show her what happens when people from all walks of life come together to pay their respects.”
The service ended with The Saluting Party marching through the Arch of Remembrance and leading the crowd down Coach Drive as well as members of the public laying down wreaths at the memorial.
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