Big Ben rings out to remember Britain's war dead, but traditional parade cancelled

Wang Xinjuan
2020-11-08 17:31:48

LONDON, Nov. 7 (Xinhua) -- Big Ben's Great Clock, an iconic timepiece, rang out across London Sunday during the country's national tribute to those killed in two world wars and other conflicts.

Engineers at the Houses of Parliament have spent days preparing the bell to chime 11 times on Sunday at the start of a traditional two-minute silence around the Cenotaph war memorial in Whitehall, according to a spokesperson for the Parliament.

The bells have been mostly silent since the extensive repair and refurbishment work on the Elizabeth Tower, which houses Big Ben and the famous clock faces, began in 2017.

However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic situation and self-distancing rules in the country, the public has been urged not to attend this year's remembrance event, said the Royal British Legion.

"We recognise this will be deeply disappointing for all who were due to take part and it is not a step that has been taken lightly. This decision has been taken by the government based on expert advice to protect the health and well-being of those who would have been travelling to and participating in the event," it said.

The government-led remembrance service at the Cenotaph will go ahead as a closed ceremony and will be broadcast live as representatives of the Royal Family, the government and the armed forces lay wreaths at the Cenotaph.


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