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Remembrance Sunday to be marked 'in a different way' in 2020

The community is being asked to stay home and honour the war dead in private ceremonies this year as Peterborough's traditional Remembrance Sunday parade is cancelled.
war memorial
A wreath-laying ceremony will still be conducted, but Peterborough residents are asked to commemorate the occasion at home (Photo: John Baker)

The Remembrance Sunday ceremony and service typically draws hundreds of people to the city centre, as they pay tribute to all those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.

But as the coronavirus pandemic continues to grip the nation, and indeed the world, it has been decided that the public gathering will be replaced with an invitation-only wreath laying ceremony.

A two-minute silence will be observed at 11am, followed by the wreath-laying at 11.30am.

Peterborough City Council, in conjunction with the Peterborough branch of the Royal British Legion and Peterborough Cathedral, is drawing up plans for the wreath-laying ceremony, which will be followed by a ticket-only service at the Cathedral. This event will be live-streamed through the council's YouTube and Facebook channels, as well as the Cathedral's Facebook page.

Instead, families are being asked to stay home and remember in their own way.

And those who want to pay a special tribute and lay a wreath can do so later that day or in the days following, to allow for social distancing at the memorial/

The Mayor of Peterborough, Councillor Gul Nawaz, said: "Remembrance Sunday is an important annual event for us to commemorate those who have lost their lives serving their country, and we want to ensure we still mark the occasion this year albeit it in a different way.

"It has been a difficult decision to make, but the safety of our residents is paramount. We want to ensure everyone is still able to reflect and remember so the city’s commemoration will be live-streamed, including the two-minute silence, which residents can observe at home."

Dr Liz Robin, Director of Public Health for Peterborough City Council, added: "The safety of our communities has to be the priority and we all need to take the necessary prevention measures to try and halt the spread of Covid-19.

"We know that the changes to the city’s Remembrance Sunday commemorations will be disappointing news, but I'm sure people will understand that we need to do what we can to protect each other and gathering together is just not possible at the moment. The number of cases of Covid-19 is on the increase so it is more important than ever that we observe social distancing measures and avoid large gatherings to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe. Adhering to hand hygiene advice, use of face coverings and social distancing guidance will help to avoid additional lockdown measures for our city."

Details of the order of the Remembrance Sunday event, including how people can watch the live-stream, will be announced closer to the day.