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Beacon lights the night sky as Rochdale remembers VE Day
- 11 May 2015
A special beacon was lit in Rochdale on Friday during a service by Rochdale Cenotaph to commemorate the end of the Second World War. Rochdale borough was one of 100 areas around the UK chosen to light a beacon to mark the 70th anniversary of Victory in Europe (VE) Day - when the Second World War in Europe came to an end.
The beacon was lit at 9.32pm, part of a nationwide chain to help recreate the national spirit of elation that followed peace breaking out 70 years ago.
A crowd including Army Cadets, Air Cadets, veterans, councillors, Colour Sergeant Rahees Ramzan from Rochdale Detachment Army Cadet Force and David Forbes, President of Rochdale Royal British Legion were amongst those gathered to observe the service.
Councillor Alan McCarthy, Lead Member for the Armed Forces at Rochdale Borough Council said it was a poignant tribute: "We're here to honour our heroes, to remember their achievements, their courage and their dedication and to say thank you for their sacrifices. Thinking of those who joined us today and those who are here only in spirit, you can't help but feel in awe of the enormity of what we encountered as a nation during the Second World War. Our gathering was one small spark in the flame of pride that burns across our country, as it did 70 years ago."
Local churches rang their bells to mark the lighting of the beacon.
Earlier in the day another small service was held at the Cenotaph in Rochdale. Wreaths were laid and a two minutes silence was observed.
Next month, 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 11/05/15.