The third Day Of Reflection was on Thursday 23 March 2023. This is the day of the first lockdown and we remember all those we lost in the pandemic from Covid and other causes. Covid 19 Families UK chose Liverpool this year to hold their Day of Reflection event on a ferry on the Mersey.
There was a nationwide minutes silence at midday, we observed this at Albert Dock . A pre-sailing reception was held in The Liverpool on James Street . Here 50 dignitaries came together with the bereaved. The dignitaries included Baroness Morgan (UK Commission on Covid Memorialisation), Elkan Abrahamson and lawyers (Broudie Jackson Canter who represent Covid 19 Bereaved Families for Justice in the Covid19 Inquiry), representatives from Marie Curie, North West Ambulance, Royal College of Nursing, Fire, Police, The Liverpool Interfaith Society, The Liverpool Funeral Directors Association, Liverpool Community Foundation, McMillan, Covid Aid, Covid Alliance, Mersey Ferries and The Alone Together Choir.
We heard speeches from Debbie Lewis, the founder of Covid19Families UK, Baroness Morgan, chair of the Commission on Covid Commemoration, and Marie Curie. I presented Debbie with a bouquet of flowers for all her hard work organising the event.
We were all given a paper yellow heart to write dedications for our loved ones. The yellow heart is a symbol of loss during the pandemic (started by the Gompertz family in April 2020 and a Facebook group Yellow Hearts To Remember) These were all strung up at the Ferry Terminus Pier Head. We were also given a little pouch of yellow petals. After the speeches we followed a Scottish piper to the ferry terminus at Pier Head. This was a very beautiful and emotional walk.
Once on board the ferry we had a minutes silence followed by the ships horn blast. Then we scattered our petals overboard. We had a 30 minute sail across the Mersey. It was wonderful to meet up with other bereaved families, strangers drawn to each other in our collective grief. Just as we came into dock we sang You’ll Never Walk Alone, a bittersweet moment of reflection as so many had played this at their loved ones funerals.
It was an amazing day remembering our loved ones taken too soon. We will remember them 💛
Sioux Vosper – Chair of Covid19Families UK and member of Covid Action Steering Committee