8pm on Monday, March 23, 2020, marked the moment that Prime Minister Boris Johnson entered unprecedented territory and announced the first Covid-19 lockdown as the pandemic brought the world to a halt.
Now almost a year on, the end of life charity Marie Curie is planning a day of reflection on March 23 to remember those who have sadly lost their lives.
The day will include a minute’s silence at 12pm followed by a bell toll and people are being encouraged to stand on their doorsteps at 8pm with phones, candles and torches to signify a “beacon of remembrance” – with prominent buildings and landmarks to be lit up across the UK.
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More than 100 care organisations, charities, businesses, emergency services, public sector bodies and community groups support the idea, with Boris Johnson being the latest high profile figure to back the plans.
Mr Johnson said: "This has been an incredibly difficult year for our country. My thoughts are with all those who have lost loved ones, and who have not been able to pay tribute to them in the way they would have wanted.
"As we continue to make progress against the virus, I want to thank people for the sacrifices they continue to make, and hope they can look forward to being reunited with loved ones as restrictions are cautiously eased."
Marie Curie chief executive Matthew Reed added: "The last year has been one of the most traumatic and uniting in modern history. With so many of us losing someone close, our shared sense of loss is incomparable to anything felt by this generation.
"Many of us have been unable to say a real goodbye or comfort our family, friends and colleagues in their grief. We need to acknowledge that and recognise we are not alone.
"That's why on March 23, it is important that we all come together to reflect on our collective loss, celebrate the lives of the special people no longer here, support those who've been bereaved and look towards a much brighter future."