Antrim salutes NHS heroes

THE Borough has saluted the tireless frontline workers who made such a towering contribution at the height of the pandemic.

The Council joined in a nationwide day of celebration and thanks to our NHS, social care and frontline workers on Monday (July 5) with a series of special events.

The day started with flag raising services at Mossley Mill and Antrim Civic Centre, where representatives of the Antrim Lieutenancy joined the Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey Councillor Billy Webb and Deputy Mayor, Councillor Stephen Ross as they flew a specially commissioned flag to mark the day.

This was followed by a two minute silence and the Last Post at 11am to remember those NHS, social care and frontline workers who tragically lost their lives.

Local people were then invited to join A Nation’s Toast and to celebrate with a picnic or afternoon tea in their gardens, street, local park or open green space to show their gratitude.

A national clap for our heroes was held at 8pm - and church bells rang 73 times to mark each year of service of the NHS.

The clap became a weekly event in the early days of COVID - with staff from Antrim Area Hospital (pictured above) regularly stepping out to take part.

The date was very fitting too as it marked the 73rd anniversary of the National Health Service which brought free health care to everyone.

This invaluable service has been treasured ever since but none more than from March 2020 when the nation was faced with the Coronavirus pandemic.

And in the face of the worst public health crisis in generations, the NHS stepped up to the mark.

“Our doctors, nurses, healthcare staff and many more frontline workers kept our shops open, our streets safe and our crucial services continued,” said Mayor Billy Webb.

“This day of celebration is the perfect opportunity to say thank you.

“It is a privilege to lead these tributes to our NHS, social care and frontline workers who continue to keep us safe and well.

“Their gallant efforts during the pandemic are a testimony to their bravery and resilience and it is only fitting that we commemorate them with this special day.”

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