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Beacon to light night sky in Rochdale on 8 May
- 27 March 2015
Earlier this month it was confirmed that the Rochdale borough is one of just 100 areas around the United Kingdom chosen to light a beacon on 8 May to mark the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe (VE) Day - when the Second World War came to an end in Europe.
The commemorations, organised by the government will see one of the 100 sites light the first beacon as the sun goes down, after which the other areas will light their flames in a chain.
VE Day was the day 70 years ago when peace broke out and brought an end to nearly 6 years of war and carnage. The announcement was followed by nation-wide celebrations in the streets, a spirit Rochdale hopes to recreate on the anniversary.
Councillor Alan McCarthy, Lead Member for the Armed Forces at Rochdale Borough Council said the borough couldn't let the day pass without reflecting on the sacrifice, courage and determination of the people who saw us through this dark period:
"VE Day this year should be a celebration of peace ... a time to remember and pay tribute to all those who played their part in achieving it. Being chosen as one of the hundred towns and cities is an acknowledgment of our continuing work in the borough and the support we give to the Armed Forces family. We are locating our beacon at the administrative centre of the borough. I hope residents will come down to the Cenotaph and remember the sacrifices made for the freedom we enjoy today."
The beacon in Rochdale will be lit at 9:32 pm on Friday 8 May. Residents from across the borough are invited to attend.
Those not able to attend are encouraged to hold their own VE Day celebrations and local churches are being asked to ring their bells to mark the lighting of the beacon.
Lancashire Veterans Association will hold a service at the Heywood Garden of Remembrance on the day at 12 noon.
Rochdale was one of the first councils in the country to sign the Armed Forces Community Covenant in November 2012, aimed at encouraging local communities to support services that promote and encourage activities that help integrate Armed Forces personnel back into civilian life. It also encourages authorities to work more closely to support those in service and their families, ensuring there is no disadvantage associated with serving in the Armed Forces.
On Sunday 28 June the council will unveil a memorial stone to mark the centenary of the Gallipoli campaign in Rochdale Memorial Gardens during a special Gallipoli Commemoration Event.
For more details visit www.rochdale.gov.uk/armedforces.
Issued by Rochdale Borough Council 27/03/15.