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Service remembers East Lancashire's lost loved ones
GRIEVING families remembered loved ones during the inaugural inter-faith memorial event organised by East Lancashire coroner Michael Singleton.
He was joined yesterday by more than 60 people, including the Dean of Blackburn Christopher Armstrong and chairman of Blackburn with Darwen Interfaith Forum Ashok Chudasama, in Corporation Park, Blackburn It is thought to be the first of its kind in the country and is set to take place every year on the first Sunday in March.
Mr Singleton said: “Currently, the memorials that exist are for select groups of people, people who died in wars or people who died at tragedies, such as Hillsborough.
“The intention here is to include everybody — not just so people can come and remember the person they lost, but also as a way of supporting each other.”
His wife and deputy coroner Carolyn said: “I lost my dad two years ago and during the service I will be remembering him and I think many people want a way to do that.”
Rebecca Lodge, 36, from Darwen, attended the ceremony with her 11-year-old son George Lodge, to remember her father.
She said: “We lost my dad 12 months ago this week so when I heard about it I really wanted to come.
“I am not particularly religious and this just seemed like a wonderful idea to me.”
A poem, read by seven-year-old Ayesha Nakhuda, said: “Let peace fill our hearts, our world, our universe. Peace, peace, peace.”
A period of silence was then held for people to remember those they had lost.
The Very Rev Armstrong concluded the silence saying: “What we all share, aside from love and loss is the ability to remember.”
During the ceremony, the Mayor of Blackburn Coun Zamir Khan unveiled a plaque to the park’s new ‘memorial tree’. People were then invited to place their handwritten memorial cards in a flowerbed next to the tree.
Addressing the crowd, Mr Singleton said: “No one truly dies so long as they are remembered in the memory of other people. This event is for people who are important. Not because of what they achieved, or the way in which they died, but because they are important to us.”
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