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Diss Remembrance Day schedule changes announced with safety in mind

People have been reminded not to attend this year’s Remembrance Day commemorations in Diss after plans for a scaled-back service were released this week.

Every year, on the second Sunday in November, the nation comes together to honour the service and sacrifice of our Armed Forces community, the British and Commonwealth veterans, the Allies that fought alongside us and the civilian servicemen and women involved in the two world wars and later conflicts.

With government rules still preventing large numbers of people gathering in one place, organisers have been forced to make a series of sweeping changes to next month’s event on Sunday, November 8.

Instead of the usual crowds, a small number of representatives of key local organisations will attend a brief wreath-laying ceremony, followed by a short act of remembrance at Diss Market Place, which will be taken by the Rev Tony Billett.

In a statement released this week, a spokeswoman for Diss Town Council said the changes were regrettable, but necessary.

“Regrettably, due to Covid-19 and the restrictions around social gatherings, a larger public event is not possible this year,” she said.

“To ensure the event remains completely safe in terms of Covid-19 restrictions, we respectfully request that members of the public do not attend.

“Please be assured that if government guidance changes to allow public attendance, a further announcement will be made.”

Schoolchildren have been decorating stones with messages to underline the importance of Remembrance Day and why it is considered such a significant date. These will be placed at the foot of the war memorial alongside the wreaths at St Mary’s Church.

Other ceremonies, including one at the Cenotaph in London, are set to go ahead with reduced numbers in attendance.

A spokesman for the Royal British Legion said: “The overall number of people taking part in 2020 will be considerably lower than in previous years. The wellbeing of those who choose to attend is our priority.”

This year marked the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War.

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