Antrim stands silent 100 years on

LOCAL people turned out in force on Sunday for the centenary commemoration of the end of the First World War.

Poignantly, the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month fell on a Sunday to mark 100 years since the guns fell silent.

Market Square was lined with people from all walks of life who were keen to honour the sacrifice of so many in service of the country.

Those in attendance included representatives from the Royal British Legion, RAF, Royal Navy, the Fire Service NI, former service personnel, Girls’ Brigade, Boys’ Brigade and Scouts.

The cenotaph proudly displayed the names of Antrim’s war dead, etched just in time for this year’s very special event, as those in attendance bowed their heads, the air heavy with pride and gratitude for the service given in the Great War, as well as other conflicts since then.

Vibrant red poppies, worn proudly on the breasts of those gathered, were reflected in the large red flowers displayed around the cenotaph as the sound of silence filled the air around Market Square.

The Borough also took part in a nationwide commemoration which was held across the UK and led by Her Majesty the Queen’s Pageant Master.

Antrim and Newtownabbey took part in this UK wide tribute by lighting two beacons across the Borough.

The Mayor, Paul Michael lit the beacon at The Motte in Antrim Castle Gardens while the Deputy Mayor, John Smyth led the tributes at Macedon Point, Hazelbank.

At 6.55pm, the last post was played followed by the lighting of the beacon.

This commemoration was a symbolic act to mark the end of the darkness that prevailed throughout the four years of the War.

In a further act of symbolic remembrance Antrim Civic Centre, Ballyclare Town Hall and Mossley Mill were lit up red from dusk.

People in Randalstown also attended at the Memorial Garden in the town for a service of Remembrance before a joint service, which was open to all, in Randalstown OC Presbyterian Church.

Local schoolchildren and Randalstown British Legion members were joined by members of the community as they marked the occasion with pride and gravitas.

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