Armed forces veterans and local school children will be helping West Lancashire Borough Council raise the Commonwealth Flag at a special ceremony on Monday 12 March, to mark Commonwealth Day 2018.
Celebrations begin around 9.40am when West Lancashire's Deputy Mayor, Councillor Noel Delaney and other civic dignitaries will be joined by veterans and children from Ormskirk C of E School, outside the Council Offices at 52 Derby Street, Ormskirk.
Messages from the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth of Nations will be read out and the Deputy Mayor will also address those present. A specially-written Commonwealth Affirmation will be read before the flag is raised.
Councillor Delaney said: “I am really proud that West Lancashire will be joining people across the world in raising the Commonwealth Flag, particularly with the 2018 Commonwealth Games due to take place in Australia in April.”
The people of the Commonwealth number almost 2.5 billion, a third of the world's population.
This year’s Commonwealth Flag raising event builds on successful events since 2014 and will see hundreds of other Commonwealth Flags raised in locations throughout the United Kingdom, Channel Islands, Isle of Man, UK Overseas Territories, and Commonwealth countries.
Scouts in The Bahamas, Belize, Grenada, Jamaica, Malaysia, Maldives, Republic of Malta, Mauritius, New Zealand, Samoa, Sri Lanka, and Trinidad and Tobago will also be raising the Commonwealth flag at 10am local time on 12 March, joining thousands of other young people around the world in committing themselves to the values of the Commonwealth Charter and the 2018 Commonwealth theme: ‘Towards a Common Future’. This year’s theme explores how the Commonwealth can address global challenges and work to create a better future for all citizens through sub-themes of sustainability, safety, prosperity and fairness, in line with the theme of the 2018 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London.
After the flag is raised everyone will be invited to the Mayor's Room to witness A Single Commemorative Act marking the centenary of World War One. A two-minute silence will be held and schoolchildren will read World War One nursery rhymes. Candles will then be lit as a reminder to all who see them, not only of the sacrifices made during the past 100 years through conflicts in which this country has been involved, but also as a symbol of hope that we will work towards understanding between peoples.