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National Day of Reflection: Looking back on those we've lost

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Published 18/03/2021
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On 23rd March we will have reached the first anniversary of the first UK lockdown, and our first ever National Day of Reflection. This is not the kind of anniversary that we’re going to be celebrating with an Iceland buffet and some decorative bunting, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth giving it the time and thought that it deserves.

As of writing this blog, there have been approximately 125,000 registered Coronavirus deaths in the UK since the start of the pandemic. The numbers have been talked about a lot in the media, whether it’s the number of deaths or the number of cases, and now the number of vaccinations, but one thing that we at have always tried to remind ourselves of is that behind each number is a name.
Barry Dawkins, Helga Murtagh, Muriel Whitmore, Geoffrey Haywood; these names might not mean anything to the majority of people that read this, but to some people they mean everything. Whether they were a parent or a child, a spouse or a sibling, a friend or a neighbour, behind each of these names is a person with a story that goes far beyond their contribution to a statistic.

You only need to visit our Lasting Tribute page for the UK Victims Of Coronavirus, where you can see over 1,500 tributes, photos and memories left for those that have been lost in the last year to this dreadful pandemic. Scrolling down the page you can see some people have just visited to light a virtual candle in memory of all that we have collectively loved and lost, whereas others have left a more personal tribute to mark the passing of someone close to them.
We’ve spoken at length about Captain Sir Tom Moore in previous blogs (one of which can be read here) so we won’t go too deep into his incredible legacy now, but it is worth taking a look at his notice here on and scrolling through over 13,000 tributes from members of the public who have been affected by his death, and see how this one loss in particular has resonated with them based on their own experiences from the last year.

The National Day of Reflection might seem like a sad day of mourning our collective losses, but it is also about the hope for a brighter future. There are undoubtedly still tough times ahead, and people will still be grieving their losses for years to come, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. A light that sees us hugging our family and friends, cheering on our teams in packed out sports stadiums, and singing along at the top of our lungs to live music at a summer festival. These simple things, as well as so many other daily joys, are now just on the horizon, which makes reflecting back on the losses and sacrifices of the past year all that much more important.

To everyone who did their part to get us here to this moment, whether that be working on the frontline day in and day out, or just staying at home when you were told, we thank you.

To paraphrase the classical English poets, Chumbawumba;

We got knocked down,
but we got up again.
You’re never going to keep us down.
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