'We have remembered them' - respects paid to fallen on Armistice Day
- Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown
Communities across Suffolk came together for Armistice Day services today to remember those who made the supreme sacrifice during war.
Young and old fell silent at the 11th hour of the 11th day to mark the end of World War One and pay respects to those who lost their lives.
This year marks the centenary of the Royal British Legion (RBL) and its Poppy Appeal, which are about supporting serving and ex-members of the Armed Forces and their families.
In Bury St Edmunds there was a strong turnout at the war memorial on Angel Hill where dignitaries, schoolchildren and members of the public gathered for the wreath-laying ceremony.
Nigel Wolstenholme, vice chairman of the RBL's Bury St Edmunds branch, which also marks 100 years in 2021, said the gathering was "amazing" and the service had been a "phenomenal" joint venture between the town council and the local RBL.
He told the crowd: "We said we will remember them and we have."
There was a particular focus this year on involving young people, which saw the RBL approach local schools to see if they would run a competition, for example an art project or writing a story, and the winning student would lay a wreath.
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Youngsters from St Benedict's Catholic School, County Upper School, Westley Middle School and RAF Mildenhall Middle School all got involved.
Mayor of Bury St Edmunds, Peter Thompson, stressed how important it was to him to pass over the baton to the next generation.
Bury St Edmunds MP Jo Churchill, who is president of the ladies' section of the RBL in the town, said it had been "an honour" to be there with constituents young and old to mark the 11th hour of the 11th day.
The Rt Rev Martin Seeley, Bishop of the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, who is at Ipswich on Remembrance Sunday, said: “Remembrance is a time for young and old to gather and express our thanks and respect for those who gave their lives in wars and conflicts serving our country.
“The profound nature of this occasion does not alter even as the years pass. Indeed, the significance seems to intensify as we remember those whose sacrifice has enabled the freedoms we enjoy today."
Services this year were of course less restricted than last year during the coronavirus pandemic.
Those to lay wreaths in Bury St Edmunds also included students from West Suffolk College.