Buildings and landmarks across the Vale of Glamorgan were lit up in yellow last night to commemorate the first national Covid-19 Memorial Day, marking a year since the UK went into its first lockdown.
March 23rd 2020 was the day when Wales and the rest of the United Kingdom entered the first national lockdown due to the Coronavirus, with the date now being chosen for annual commemorations to take place.
Iconic locations in the Vale such as the Penarth Pier Pavillion and Barry Town Hall were just some of the buildings across Wales illuminated in yellow for the event with Vale of Glamorgan Council Leader, Neil Moore saying of the last year and the memorial gesture:
“The last 12 months have seen the world change in ways we could never have envisaged as Covid-19 wreaked havoc across the globe.
“At the start of 2020, none of us could have imagined what lay in store and how profoundly our lives were about to be effected.
“All of us have been significantly impacted by coronavirus and, sadly, many of us have lost loved ones to this terrible disease.
“There is reason to be optimistic about the future, with large-scale vaccination offering hope that life can return more to normal before too long.
“But, while we look forwards with hope, it is also important we remember the human cost of the pandemic.”
The colour yellow was chosen for the light display to acknowledge that it was spring last year when this virus first breached our shores.
Other buildings in Wales that took part in the memorial display include Caernarfon, Caerphilly and Cardiff castles, the Menai Suspension Bridge, Swansea’s Liberty Stadium and more.
In addition to the lights display, a two-minute silence was held at midday as an act of remembrance and a memorial orchard of cherry, plum and apple trees is being planted at Porthkerry Country Park by the Vale Council, where a memorial bench has also been installed for people to visit and reflect.
Joining colleagues to observe a minute’s silence on the steps of the Welsh Government’s offices, First Minister Mark Drakeford said of the last year:
“Our thoughts are with all the families who are mourning the loss of a loved one.
“Over the last year, we’ve heard too many sad stories.
“But we’ve also heard inspiring tales of resilience, bravery and determination from every part of Wales as communities have support each other.
“And our everyday heroes – from bus drivers and shop workers to intensive care nurses and teachers – keeping on keeping us safe.”