National Day of Reflection: Today marks the second anniversary of the UK’s first lockdown
Today marks the second anniversary of the UK’s first lockdown.
Organisations and political leaders from across Wales are coming together to support a National Day of Reflection today, Wednesday 23 March 2022.
First Minister Mark Drakeford and Presiding Officer Elin Jones will mark the day by observing a minute’s silence at midday and encourage others from the Welsh Government and the Senedd to do the same.
Organisations across Wales will also be coming together to connect and support the people who have been bereaved during the last two years.
The pandemic has increased the complexity of grief being felt.
Families can now be with loved ones, free from restrictions to memorialise those who have died.
For many of the people being supported however, this period has unlocked a tidal wave of grief.
The National Day of Reflection is an opportunity for us all to remember and to support our bereaved friends, families, neighbours and colleagues.
At 12 noon, the nation will come together in a minute’s silence.
People can visit ‘Walls of Reflection’ across the UK, to commemorate loved ones by adding their name, photo or perhaps their favourite song .
Holywell Town Council is encouraging the community to use the gates to its offices as a wall of reflection
Spearheaded by end of life charity Marie Curie, over 350 organisations across the UK and Wales are behind the day.
Prominent buildings and landmarks will also be lit up across Wales, including the Senedd building in Cardiff Bay.
Last year the first National Day of Reflection saw widespread support and connected the nation in grief in the first event of its kind.
First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford, said: “We have all lived our lives in the shadow of the pandemic. It has touched our lives and so many have made big sacrifices.”
“Many have lost family members, loved ones or friends. That is why this moment of reflection is so important to so many people right across Wales.”
Social Care Wales Chief Executive, Sue Evans, said: “We’re proud to support the National Day of Reflection once again.”
“The last two years have been incredibly tough on our sector and we’re proud of each and every person working in social care and early years, who have faced and overcome so many challenges.”
“Sadly, along the way, we have lost family and colleagues we deeply cared for.”
“This day of reflection gives us a chance to stop, remember together and celebrate their lives and connect with others who have had similar experiences.”
Chief Nursing Officer for Wales Sue Tranka said: “On this National Day of Reflection I want to thank our nursing and midwifery professionals and the wider health and care workforce for their continued professionalism, dedication and hard work as we deal with the ongoing impact of the pandemic.”
“I am very proud of the exceptional contribution our professions have made and continue to make in selflessly and compassionately caring for and providing support to families and loved ones during some of the most difficult times we have ever had to experience.”
“As we come through the pandemic it’s important to recognise the huge sacrifices people have made and to take a minute to remember all those we have lost.”’
“Reflect on the impact the pandemic has had on all our lives and a moment to connect with those who are still suffering and need our ongoing support.”
Marie Curie’s Chief Executive, Matthew Reed, said: “The last two years have reminded us of how much harder grief is when you are isolated from those you care about and those who support you.”
“And while life may be beginning to return to normal for some of us there are many living with the deep trauma of losing a loved one. ”
“Grief doesn’t have a lifespan, nor does it discriminate. As a society, we need to find better ways of dealing with grief. ”
“We hope that having a special day will bring comfort to millions of us who feel the pain of grief, regardless of time or circumstance.”
“The National Day of Reflection last year showed that a national day was very much needed and profoundly resonated with people up and down the UK. ”
“It is time to come together again to reflect on the lives of the people we’ve lost and support those who are grieving.”