Lest we forget – borough falls silent at Remembrance Sunday services

Representatives from the Navy, Army and Royal Air Force joined veterans and civic dignitaries for parades and services in Rochdale town centre, Castleton, Heywood, Littleborough, Middleton, Norden, Milnrow and Wardle.

Residents gathered at memorials fell silent as the Last Post was played at each service. Each included Laurence Binyon’s 1914 poem, For the Fallen:

“They shall grow not old as we that are left grow old; age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn; at the going down of the sun and in the morning; we will remember them.”

The Armed Forces community, Members of Parliament, mayor of Rochdale, councillors, faith leaders, local schools and members of the public also laid their own wreathes and gave respects, following moving readings of the Kohima Epitaph:

“When you go home, tell them of us and say, for your tomorrow, we gave our today.”

Services to mark Armistice Day on Saturday, 11 November 2023 were also held at Rochdale Cenotaph and in other parts of the borough, as people attended to show their respect for those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

Councillor Janet Emsley, cabinet member for the Armed Forces, said:

“It was a day when the community united in its remembrance, as residents of all ages came together to pay their respects to those who lost their lives defending the values, liberty and freedom we cherish so much and, all too often, take for granted. The service was an opportunity to pause, reflect and remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. We are so proud of our armed forces community, past and present, and the day was about honouring the service and sacrifice of thousands of men and women from our borough. Lest we forget.”

Mayor of Rochdale, Councillor Mike Holly, said:

“Remembrance Sunday is always a moving and reflective day, as we pay tribute to the fallen and honour the service of thousands of men and women from across the borough. Without the selfless dedication and sacrifices of our Armed Forces personnel, the values and liberty we value so much would have been lost. We never forget. We will remember them.

The council signed an Armed Forces Community Covenant in 2012 which is aimed at encouraging communities to support services that promote and encourage activities that help integrate armed forces personnel back into civilian life.

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