Across Leicester, people are being asked to commemorate this year’s Remembrance Day in different, creative ways during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Traditionally, the Remembrance Day service takes place at the Edwin Lutyen Arch of Remembrance in Victoria Park and at Leicester Market. However, due to restrictions on gatherings and the following of social distancing rules, these services will not be taking place this year.
There will instead be opportunities to reflect this year in the form of online commemorations, personal reflections or activities at home.
The Post a Poppy campaign, which was launched by the Lord Mayor’s Office, is encouraging people to remember those that fell in the line of duty, by baking cakes or planting “remembrance-themed flowers” for example, and to send in pictures of their work. The plan is to then include them in a Remembrance display in the city centre.
On Sunday, November 8, at 10.30am, Leicester City Council will be working alongside BBC Radio Leicester on a Remembrance Day programme. It will feature personal stories and information from those who have fought in different conflicts around the world, along with a message from the Bishop of Leicester, as well as two minutes’ silence at 11am.
The Arch of Remembrance in Victoria Park will also be illuminated in red during this time.
Leicester Lord Mayor, Cllr Annette Byrne, said: “As a result of ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, it is not surprising that we will be unable to hold our usual Remembrance Day commemorations this year.
“We are extremely disappointed to be unable to provide the opportunity for the citizens of Leicester and Leicestershire to join us and show their respects for the men and women who have lost their lives in conflict, while serving their country.
“However, as with many other plans this year, we have had to adapt and to encourage other ways for people to get involved instead. For example, that could involve taking part in online commemorations, or simply reflecting on Remembrance Day with smaller activities at home.
“We are also encouraging people to get involved in our “Post a Poppy” campaign, by sending us a picture of themselves with their poppy, or even make a poppy to wear, bake a poppy cake or make a poppy display in your garden.
“The act of Remembrance is vital to keeping alive the memories of those who have died in wars over the years, and although this year’s plans have to be different, they are by no means less meaningful or poignant.”
Leicester City Council are asking for photos and other creative Remembrance Day ideas for the Post a Poppy campaign to be sent to the Lord Mayor’s office at email@example.com
The Royal British Legion, which is behind the annual Poppy Appeal, has also shared ideas for alternative ways for people to mark Remembrance Day in 2020.
Suggestions include: “creating a remembrance space in the garden; using social media or online meetings to take part safely in a remembrance service or activity; or by creating an online exhibition of photos or artwork which can be used to explore local remembrance.”
Families can still get involved in this year’s poppy appeal by downloading and colouring in a Remembrance Poppy to display in their window as a show of support. Visit: http://bit.ly/PoppyAppeal2020 for more information.