Derry’s Mayor hosts Day of Reflection

Mayor of Derry, Colr. Kevin Campbell lays a wreath at the memorial in the Guildhall on Friday.  (2812JB70)
Mayor of Derry, Colr. Kevin Campbell lays a wreath at the memorial in the Guildhall on Friday. (2812JB70)

The Mayor of Derry, councillor Kevin Campbell hosted a Day of Reflection in Guildhall Square on Friday to remember everyone from the city who lost their lives as a result of conflict.

Around 100 people attended the event at lunchtime at Guildhall Square as the mayor laid a wreath at the plaque erected on the city walls created for the first Day of Reflection several years ago.

Two minutes of silence were then observed to remember everyone killed in conflict.

Foyle MP Mark Durkan and MLAs Raymond McCartney, Maeve McLaughlin and Mitchel McLaughlin were among those who attended the event alongside councillors, former mayors and members of the public.

A number of previous mayors have also hosted the Day of Reflection although the event is boycotted by unionists.

The mayor insisted that the event is designed to include everyone who died in conflict and insisted “there is no hierarchy of victims.”

Colr. Campbell said it is important to remember the past. “We all want to move on but we cannot do that by forgetting the past. The Day of Reflection gives everyone the opportunity to remember the past, and everyone who died as a result of conflict, in an open and inclusive way. It is open to all sections of the community and everyone is invited.

“It is a simple wreath laying ceremony with a period of reflection to allow people to remember all victims in silence,” he said.

The mayor also said the past should not be a barrier to the future. “Next year will be a big year for the city and we are all hoping it will be a fantastic opportunity for the city.

“We have had £100 million invested in this city in recent years so we are clearly moving forward.

“By remembering the past we are not blocking the future. It is something that we need to do. We need to be able to remember the past together and remind ourselves of the pain and suffering that went before. It cannot be forgotten as we move forward and this is what the Day of Reflection is all about,” he said.