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'We shall never forget': Boris backs commemoration plans to honour lives lost in pandemic

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Tuesday, March 23 will mark the anniversary of the first national lockdown ordered by the Prime Minister as the country faced its initial wave of the deadly virus. In a televised national address, Mr Johnson solemnly informed the country of his decision to close all shops and restaurants and to ask people to stay at home. A total of 335 people had lost their lives to the virus by that stage.

Today, Britain has the highest death rate in Europe from the pandemic, with 125,343 recorded fatalities, according to data provided by worldometers.info.

The Prime Minister is backing charity Marie Curie’s plan to hold a minute’s silence at noon on the 23rd.

People will be encouraged to light up their doorsteps on that evening to create a ‘beacon of remembrance”, by beaming phones, candles and torches into the night sky at 8pm.

At the same time, various prominent buildings and landmarks will be illuminated across the nation.

Mr Johnson, who became seriously ill from the virus, said he would observe the minute’s silence privately.

He added: “This has been an incredibly difficult year for our country.

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These will include virtual assemblies, choirs, services and yellow ribbons being wrapped around trees.

Explaining the rationale behind the commemoration, Matthew Reed, chief executive of Marie Curie, said: “It is important that we all come together to reflect on our collective loss, celebrate the lives of the special people no longer here, support those who’ve been bereaved and look towards a much brighter future.”

All major political UK leaders have given their support to the events being planned, saying they would take part.



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