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Historian Dan Snow calls for Covid memorial akin to Cenotaph to serve as ‘permanent reminder’

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His intervention is part of a campaign backed by a number of other celebrities including children’s author Michael Rosen and actress Emma Kennedy.

Mr Snow told the Standard: “If you create a physical memorial you are forcing subsequent generations to think about the lessons, to think about the loss, think about things that have been done good and bad, to learn what happens when you take your eye off the ball, to learn what happens when you get things right.”

He said Whitehall was the appropriate place because it is in the “middle of the action” and added: “It’s where the decisions have been made. It’s where decision makers walk every day.”

He said it would be a “neutral” monument, adding: “It’s not aimed at anybody but it is a permanent reminder of the loss that should haunt all public policy leaders.

“The prospect of loss, of economic dislocation, of this biological threat has been with us for generations and it will continue to be so and people shouldn’t forget that.”

Asked what type of memorial he would like to see, he said: “I think the Cenotaph’s not a bad model.

Campaigners want a memorial like the cenotaph where wreaths could be laid annually

/ PA

“It’s a memorial to the fallen and an admonition to leaders in every generation. It’s just a huge lump of rock they can’t ignore and nor can they ignore intellectually – what happens when you allow relations between states to break down.

“That is the cost and putting a huge chunk of rock in the middle of our most important road in our capital city is an appropriate response. In some ways I think it is a good model for this.”

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