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UK lights up to form ‘beacon of remembrance’ for victims of pandemic

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Parts of the UK’s skyline lit up in remembrance of the lives lost in the past year as thousands reflected on the anniversary of the first national lockdown.

More than 300 organisations, community groups and charities took part in a minute’s silence at noon on Tuesday in remembrance of those who have died during the Covid-19 crisis as part of a national day of reflection.

The event, organised by the end-of-life charity Marie Curie also encouraged people to stand on their doorsteps at 8pm with their phones, candles and torches to signify a “beacon of remembrance”.

Edinburgh Castle is illuminated yellow during the National Day of Reflection / PA Wire

Elsewhere, Liverpool Town Hall, Blackpool Tower and St Mary’s Lighthouse shone a light for those bereaved, alongside the Lincoln Cathedral.

Joining them were parliaments and assemblies in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, as well as Cardiff’s University and City Hall, Belfast’s Titanic Building and City Hall, and Edinburgh’s St Andrew’s House.

Matthew Reed, chief executive of Marie Curie, said: “The emotional toll of the grief so many of us have faced, at a time when so few of us have been able to connect with friends, family and community in the ways we normally would, is immeasurable.

“The work of so many communities, to recognise the day, sent a strong message to those hit hardest by the death of a loved one – they are not alone.

“From neighbours shining a light on their doorstep at 8pm, to political leaders respecting the minute’s silence, our nation has shown a vital acknowledgement of the challenges bereaved people have been facing during this difficult year.”

He said the charity is committed to making the national day of reflection an annual event “to recognise the impact of bereavement for any cause”.

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