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Borough falls silent as thousands remember fallen heroes

12 November 2019

Veterans standing with raised flags at the Cenotaph.

Thousands gathered across the borough for Remembrance Day Services to honour the nation's war heroes and pay tribute to the fallen.

Representatives from the Navy, Army and Royal Air Force joined veterans and civic dignitaries for parades and services in Rochdale town centre, Heywood, Littleborough, Middleton, Norden, Milnrow and Wardle.

Communities fell silent as the Last Post was played and residents gathered for well-attended services. Each included Laurence Binyon's 1914 poem For The Fallen: "They shall grow not old as we that are left grow old; Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn; At the going down of the sun and in the morning; We will remember them."

Members of the public also laid their own wreathes and gave respects, following moving readings of The Kohima Epitaph; "When you go home, Tell them of us and say, For your tomorrow, We gave our today."

Special services to mark Armistice Day on 11 November 2019 were also held at Rochdale Cenotaph and memorials across the borough, as people gathered to show their respect for those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

It was a poignant and moving Remembrance Day, as people paid their respects to the fallen of past conflicts

The Mayor of Rochdale, Councillor Billy Sheerin, said: "It was a poignant and moving Remembrance Day, as people paid their respects to the fallen of past conflicts. As Mayor, I was proud to lay wreaths in remembrance of the brave men and women who did so much to protect our freedoms, liberty and values. We owe them so much for giving their today for our tomorrow. It was lovely to see people of all ages coming together to mark the occasion. Lest we forget."

The council signed the Armed Forces Community Covenant in 2012, aimed at encouraging communities to support services that promote and encourage activities that help integrate armed forces personnel back into civilian life.

Every Thursday from 9am–10am Rochdale Town hall hosts a Veterans' Breakfast Club in the Clock Tower Dining Room, alongside the council's armed forces partners. All ex-military and dependents are welcome.