19 March 2021| | 3 min read
National Day of Reflection
A year after the UK first went into lockdown, Newcastle City Council is encouraging residents to join a National Day of Reflection to reflect on the past year and hope for a brighter future.
The council is backing calls from charity Marie Curie for people to ‘take a minute to reflect and a moment to connect’ on Tuesday 23 March by observing a minute’s silence at 12 noon in memory of those that have lost their lives during the last year and then lighting the Civic Centre yellow in a symbol of hope for a brighter future.
Marie Curie estimates that over three million people have lost a someone since the pandemic began, either to COVID-19 or due to other causes. But the restrictions we’ve been living under meant people didn’t always have the chance to say a proper goodbye and have had to grieve without the comfort of having family and friends around them.
The National Day of Reflection, which Marie Curie hope will become an annual event, will give communities an opportunity to reflect on the last year and to show support for family, friends and colleagues who have lost someone they love.
And people are being invited to take part in the day by joining the minute’s silence, planting or displaying flowers as a sign of hope for the future or by taking part in a doorstep vigil that will take place across the nation at 8pm on the day.
Lord Mayor of Newcastle, Councillor David Cook, said “The past year has been one of the most difficult in living memory. Behind every statistic are people. Those who have lost their lives and the loved ones they have left behind.
“At the same time there have also been reasons to hope. We’ve seen communities coming together, neighbours helping each other and people from all walks of life stepping up to keep our city, and the country, going.
“This National Day of Reflection gives us the opportunity not just to remember those we have lost and reflect on the difficulties of the past year but to begin to connect as a city again as we look forward to a future filled with hope.
“I hope people from across Newcastle will take a moment at 8 o’clock to go out onto their doorsteps with a torch or a candle and shine a light as a symbol of tribute and hope.”
Marie Curie Chief Executive Matthew Reed said: “We need to mark the huge amount of loss we’ve seen this year and show support for everyone who has been bereaved in the most challenging of circumstances. We cannot simply stand by and not recognise the effects the pandemic has had on the bereaved. We know people are in shock, confused, upset, angry and unable to process what has happened.
“The National Day of Reflection on 23 March gives us a moment to reflect, remember and celebrate the lives of everyone that has died, as well as show our support to family, friends and colleagues who are bereaved during these challenging times – from COVID and other causes.”
To find out more about the National Day of Reflection and how to get involved visit www.mariecurie.org.uk/dayofreflection. #DayofReflection