Marking Remembrance Day differently
Remembrance Sunday holds great importance for the council and our residents. In previous years, councillors from across Buckinghamshire have played an active part in honouring all those who fell in defence of our country in past wars and other military conflicts.
However, with COVID and the increasing number of positive cases within the county, things this year will have to be very different.
Cabinet Member for Communities and Public Health, Cllr Gareth Williams, said: ‘In line with advice from the Government and the Royal British Legion, we are all going to have to honour the service and sacrifice of our Armed Forces and veterans in our own private ways this year. Just as we cheered for the NHS earlier in the year, my kids intend to celebrate Remembrance Sunday with artwork and our own ceremony in our back garden this year.’
Guidance for and other ways of marking Remembrance Day
The Government has just issued guidance for Remembrance Services: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/local-authority-preparations-for-remembrance-sunday/local-authority-preparations-for-remembrance-sunday
This guidance details how a service could be organised in a COVID-safe way and whilst adhering to the current rules particularly on social distancing and the ‘rule of 6’.
In addition, there has also been some guidance issued by the Royal British Legion, recognising that Remembrance and the Poppy appeal are both going to look very different this year. Their overwhelming priority is to protect their branch members – many of whom are elderly and would, therefore, fall into the vulnerable category.
Rather than attending an event, they are encouraging the nation to join in the two-minute silence at 11am on the 11th November and watch the National Service of Remembrance at the Cenotaph in London, on television, which will also be a very different event this year than in previous years.
They have also provided the following alternative suggestions for marking Remembrance Day this year:
· Hold a small Remembrance service in your garden.
· Create a Remembrance space in your garden by planting plants that have a connection to Remembrance.
· Use Zoom, Facebook or another online meeting resource to host an online Remembrance service or activity.
· Set up a community Remembrance forum to discuss different residents’ Remembrance stories.
· Create an online exhibition of Remembrance related photos from local residents that schools or others could use to discuss local Remembrance activities.
· Do an online interview with a local veteran or someone currently serving to discuss what service and sacrifice means to them. You could send people the link and create an online audience.
· Open an online book of Remembrance that family, friends and others can sign as a mark of Remembrance.
· Write letters of Remembrance to veterans or serving personnel.
· Use the Royal British Legion Remembrance education activities to help children learn about Remembrance. https://www.britishlegion.org.uk/get-involved/remembrance/teaching-remembrance
· Create your own Remembrance art piece using our teaching resources – children and families could be asked to display something in their window like the rainbows for the NHS. https://www.britishlegion.org.uk/get-involved/ways-to-give/remember-a-loved-one/fields-of-remembrance