Sykes welcomes Lord Dannatt’s call for Annual COVID-19 Memorial Day

Oldham Liberal Democrat councillors have welcomed the call by General Lord Dannatt, former Commander-in-Chief of the British Army, for March 23, the date upon which the first national Lockdown was introduced in 2020, to be designated as Britain’s Annual Covid-19 Memorial Day. Lord Dannatt wants the new day to be marked with a minute’s silence and a new emblem like the poppies that symbolise Remembrance Sunday.

The Local Government Association (LGA), which is the national body representing local authorities; and councillor Sykes serves as Vice Chair and Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group; are also backing the national campaign for the creation of Coronavirus monuments in every area, along with a national memorial in Whitehall.

At the last meeting of Oldham Council 24 March 2021, Councillor Sykes asked the Leader of the Council to work with him to create a local COVID-19 memorial to remember the “sacrifice, suffering, courage and selflessness in our borough in the future.” He spoke in support of the proposal for both a local and national memorial and an annual day: “We have war memorials in our cities, towns and villages, and remembrance gardens, like in my own Shaw Ward, and we hold Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day commemorations to remember the sacrifice of those who in past wars laid down their lives to safeguard our freedoms.”

“COVID-19 represents the worst post-war national crisis this country has faced. Now it is time that we look to do the same in remembrance of the victims of COVID-19 and in recognition of the courage, selflessness, professionalism, and fortitude of those medical, emergency and key workers who have given so much to save lives, ease suffering, and keep our country going during this last long terrible year,” added councillor Sykes.

“A memorial in every area and an annual day for our nation will represent a place and an opportunity to people to come together to reflect, to grieve, to remember but also to be thankful and to hope.”

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