HUNDREDS of people lined the streets of Llanelli today, Sunday (Nov 12) as the Remembrance Parade took place. Veterans, those still serving in the armed forces, the emergency services and those affiliated through local organisations joined the parade at Drill lHall on Murray Street at around 10am this morning in bright autumn sunshine.
Hundreds of people gathered in the Town Hall Gardens where the Salvation Army Band played a selection of hymns before the main service.
The parade left the Drill Hall on Murray Street at 10.15 am and the service at the Town Hall began shortly after the parade arrived.
Wreaths were laid by the Llanelli Town Mayor Jeff Edmunds, the Lord Lieutenant David Mathias, the Chairman of Carmarthenshire County Council Irfon Jones, representatives of other local authorities, the Armed Services, ex-servicemen’s associations, civil public services, voluntary services and other organisations.
A lone bugler sounded the last post and at the stroke of 11 the gathered fell silent for two minutes to remember. The ceremony was conducted by the Town Mayor’s Chaplain, Reverend Eldon Philips.
Just as the national anthems were played a huge gust of wind and driving rain ensured that everyone was soaked. Despite the bitter cold the young and the old stood steadfastly to attention and sung with gusto.
Welsh rugby legend Phil Bennett said: “It was so sad because the children had turned out and the weather was dreadful but they stuck it out all credit to them. The people of LLanelli have been so generous. They turn out for events and always give. We have received a million pounds for the Ray Gravell Trust.”
Nia Griffith MP said: It was a very moving day especially seeing families who have lost people recently and laying wreaths at the new memorial. It is absolutely wonderful to see the generosity of local people in contributing to the Poppy Appeal.”
Carmarthenshire County Council Armed Champion Cllr David Jenkins said: “It is a time for remembering the sacrifices made on our behalf, the price of freedom.”
There were numerous individual stories to be told but none so raw and poignant than that of Mr and Mrs Kirkpatrick whose son Jamie was killed by an IED in recent conflict. She said that she was equally proud and sad. Speaking about her son Jamie she said: “He did a lot to save a lot of people’s lives finding the IED’s saving not only soldiers but the local people. The Taliban are so cruel, they have no idea, they are so fanatical and cruel. My hopes are that there will be an end to it but there will always be bad people in the world and we will always need others to make sure they don’t harm us.”
Carmarthenshire County Council and Llanelli Town Council worked together with local military and veterans’ organisations in arranging the service.
You can watch our special film of the event here soon.