National Day of Remembrance on Sunday

RemembrancePoppiesThe annual Act of Remembrance for those who died in the two World Wars will be held this coming Sunday (8 November) at The Cenotaph, Garden of Remembrance, City Hall, Belfast.

The service will commence at 11am, and is expected to last around an hour. Anyone who wishes to attend can join us in the UUP room in City Hall (ground floor front) beforehand. There is a reception afterwards.

I spoke on Monday night in council on the minutes of the Diversity Working Group of 8 October 2015 (extract below) to encourage a substantial Blitz Memorial inscribed with the names of the 1,000 dead and the affected streets to be placed on the west side of City Hall. (I am chairman of the DWG.) The Belfast Telegraph has covered the matter in an article  with some evocative images (link further below).

“Officers have also discussed possible locations available for a large-scale memorial within the grounds of City Hall. It is estimated that the current monument to the Titanic cost in the region of £120,000 – £150,000. Any monument in the grounds of City Hall would require Listed Building Consent, and previous discussions with Environmental and Heritage Services indicate there may be difficulties obtaining planning permission for any structure which is considerable in size.

Also, finding an appropriate space in the East side would be extremely difficult because of the existing Titanic Memorial Garden. The front of City Hall is mainly laid out in lawns and recent commemoration structures such as the Magennis (VC) Memorial have been small in nature and balanced off with other statues.

Members may consider that due to the nature of the proposed Blitz memorial, the Cenotaph area might be deemed a more appropriate location.”

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