Colin Grainger

Remembrance Day in East Ham unites the community in respect for those who gave their lives

 

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It was a special gathering at East Ham Cenotaph today as the community came together to pay their respects to those who gave their lives for their country.

The massed ranks of current and former servicemen and women and civic leaders were joined by young and old at Central Park to remember those who died in two world wars, battles since and current conflicts, in the event organised b y the Royal British Legion.

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It was the first time in 30 years that I can remember the streets around the park being closed off and it added to the sense of honour to have no cars or lorries going by as we paid our respects.

The civic procession left Newham Town Hall and the parade of veterans and representatives of the services and community groups arrived at the park.

Those assembled stood with heads bowed for the Act of Remembrance, The Last Post and the two minutes silence. The Exhortation and Kohima was followed by the Reveille.

Field gun firing before and after the silence added to the occasion.

While wreaths or crosses were laid at the memorial a poem was read out to hour those who gave their lives.

The hymn Abide With Me was followed by prayers, the Commitment, Benediction and the National Anthem

It was great to see the Bishop of Barking in attendance for the first time, and Father Fred Ashford-Okai broke with tradition shortly before the end to speak not only of his pride in Newham but in the remarkable number of young people in attendance. He called for a round of applause for those who are the future of the borough, which was warmly responded to.

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Then came the march-off and, as the parade left the park, many stayed behind to look at the tributes left on the Cenotaph.

The park returned slowly to normality with the poppies and floral and wooden crosses remaining in memory of those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

The attendance was one of the highest seen in East Ham in recent years.

 

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This article was written on 08 Nov 2015, and is filed under community, East Ham Cenotaph, Newham, Remembrance, Royal British Legion.

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