Manchester’s annual Remembrance Sunday commemorations will look very different this year due to the ongoing impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Manchester City Council has revealed changes to this year’s proceedings ahead of the weekend.
While there will be no usual parade or public service at the Cenotaph in the city centre, people will still be able to watch a pre-recorded service at 11am on Remembrance Sunday (8th November) which will be available via the council’s Facebook page here.
Residents wishing to pay their respects on the day are instead being urged to undertake their own acts of remembrance at home.
This could be done through observing the two minute silence and displaying an image of a poppy in your window – which can be downloaded from the Royal British Legion website – to remember those who died, as well as watching the pre-recorded service.
You can also donate to the poppy appeal as a one-off donation or a regular gift should you wish.
People will also be asked to share their wartime memories, photos or videos using hashtag #RemembranceSunday, or by following @ManCityCouncil.
Manchester Central Library will also be lit up red from 8th-11th November to pay tribute to those who died while serving their country.
People who wish to lay a wreath are encouraged to do so at home, or a local war memorial.
Given that this will be the first weekend under new national lockdown restrictions – which are expected to come into force at 00:01 GMT on Thursday 5th November – Manchester City Council is urging people not to come to the city centre this Remembrance Sunday.
In accordance to government guidelines, all unnecessary travel should be avoided.
Councillor Tommy Judge – Manchester’s Lord Mayor – said: “It is very sad we are unable to gather together for the city’s annual Remembrance Sunday, but I am sure you will understand that the safety of all those who would usually have taken part or supported the event is our highest priority.
“I would like to encourage the people of Manchester to take the time to remember, from the safety of their own homes, the ultimate sacrifice paid by those to whom we owe so much.
“Whilst we can’t gather as a community, we can still remember as a community.
“We will remember them, wherever we are.”
Alison Bunn – Royal British Legion Area Manager for Greater Manchester – added: “Whilst it is deeply disappointing that Remembrance events in Manchester will not take place this year, we understand that the decision has been taken to protect the health and wellbeing of all involved.
“The public can all still play a part in ensuring Remembrance Sunday is appropriately marked and the Royal British Legion are encouraging people to participate in their own personal moment of Remembrance, whether that be watching the national Service of Remembrance on television or pausing for the two minute silence at home or on their doorsteps.”
You can find more information via the Manchester City Council website here.