Trees of Life glade to honour Covid-19 victims

time:2023-06-10 23:14:23source:Al Jazeera author:Press center3

A living memorial is set to be launched as a tribute to Covid-19 victims and those who served the country throughout the pandemic.

The Trees of Life glade at the National Memorial Arboretum will feature a large central spaeth alder tree, set within a seating area and trees.

It will be unveiled during a dedicated service on Tuesday from 12:00 GMT.

Members of the public will be invited to lay tributes of spring flowers.

"It may already be three years since the pandemic first turned our lives upside down, but for many key workers who served, or those who lost loved ones, the memories of that time and the feelings of loss will never go away," said Philippa Rawlinson, director of the arboretum.

The trees in the glade were blessed by representatives of Diverse Communities of Faith at Westminster Abbey during a special service of remembrance in October last year.

NHS nurse Becky Warren, who led the team at The Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital Vaccination Centre, near Oswestry in Shropshire, is one of the key workers set to take part in the event.

She said: "Over the course of 25 months, our team administered exactly 157,464 Covid-19 vaccinations to everyone from vulnerable groups to five-year-olds, and we heard many stories of trauma and resilience along the way.

"It means a lot to me that our efforts are recognised here in the new Trees of Life glade, alongside all the other memorials at the arboretum."

The blessing during the dedicated service will be led by the Very Reverend Dr David Hoyle, Dean of Westminster.

The National Memorial Arboretum and National Forest corporation have announced plans to transform 25 acres of former quarry land next to the Trees of Life glade into into a new remembrance space that could feature a lake and wildlife habitats.

Proposals also include space for reflective glades, play areas, worship areas and new visitor facilities.

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