Hertfordshire County Council supports National Day of Reflection for those that died during the Covid-19 pandemic

Today marks a year since the first national lockdown

Hertfordshire County Council is supporting a national day to remember those who have died during the pandemic, and to show support for everyone who has been bereaved.

Spearheaded by end of life charity Marie Curie, and set to take place today (March 23) the anniversary of the UK going into the first national lockdown, Hertfordshire County Council is supporting the National Day of Reflection, alongside many other organisations nationally.

Marie Curie estimates that over three million people have been touched by bereavement since the pandemic began, yet many have been unable to properly say goodbye to loved ones or grieve.

Hertfordshire County Council supports National Day of Reflection

Hertfordshire County Council is one of the largest employers in the County. By recognising this day the council is sending a message to both its staff and all the residents of Hertfordshire.

Staff working in offices and those working remotely are being invited to observe a minute’s silence, the flag at County Hall in Hertford will be flown at half mast and County Hall will also be lit up at 8pm whilst many people will be observing their own doorstep tribute by shining a torch.

The National Day of Reflection gives the nation and its communities a moment to grieve, remember and celebrate the lives of those who have died and show support for families, friends and colleagues who have had to cope with so much in the past year.

Owen Mapley, Chief Executive of Hertfordshire County Council said: “We know the pandemic will have a lasting impact for many years to come. Most notably this is felt by those who have lost loved ones, friends, neighbours or colleagues.

"My heartfelt condolences go out to everyone who has been touched by loss.

“The challenges that everyone has faced have been unprecedented, but I have been continually inspired by the dedication, selflessness, creativity and resilience that I have seen demonstrated across the council, from other public service partners and from communities across the county.

"There are countless examples of people going above and beyond to provide help to those who need support.

“As we start to look ahead with a tentative sense of optimism for a return to normality, the day of reflection on 23 March gives us all an opportunity to reflect on what has been a year like no other.”

Dacorum Borough Council and Hertfordshire Police are also supporting the National Day of Remembrance.

The community spirit shown by residents in Dacorum has been praised by the MP for Hemel Hempstead, DENS and Community Action Dacorum.

Marie Curie Chief Executive Matthew Reed said: “We need to mark the huge amount of loss we’ve seen this year and show support for everyone who has been bereaved in the most challenging of circumstances.

"We cannot simply stand by and not recognise the effects the pandemic has had on the bereaved. We know people are in shock, confused, upset, angry and unable to process what has happened.

“The National Day of Reflection on 23 March gives us a moment to reflect, remember and celebrate the lives of everyone that has died, as well as show our support to family, friends and colleagues who are bereaved during these challenging times – from Covid and other causes.”