Belfast holds day of reflection

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    • Belfast holds day of reflection

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      Belfast holds day of reflection

      Belfast City Council has held a "day of reflection" to acknowledge the "hurt and pain" caused by the Troubles.

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      More than 3,500 people died and thousands more were injured during 30 years of violence, much of it in Belfast.

      The council arranged poetry readings and provided space for people to reflect.

      Church leaders also took part in a service at St Anne's Cathedral.

      The reason 21 June was chosen as a date for reflection is that it is the longest day of the year.

      Both Catholic and Protestant church leaders were in attendance at the service of prayer, music and reflection.

      The Catholic Archbishop Eamon Martin and the Presbyterian moderator the Reverend Dr David Bruce took part in the service.

      In the congregation was the Commissioner for Victims and Survivors, Ian Jeffers.

      The service, entitled Courage to Lament, had been organised by a number of peace-building groups.

      The idea of a day of reflection was started 15 years ago by Healing Through Remembering.

      "The day of reflection is held on 21 June each year, across many communities, as an opportunity to acknowledge the deep hurt and pain caused by the conflict in and about Northern Ireland," the council said.

      "The day offers an opportunity to reflect on our own attitudes, on what more we might have done or might still do, and to make a personal commitment that such loss should never be allowed to happen again.

      "It also provides an opportunity to reflect on our hopes for the future."

      A "thought tree" is also at Belfast City Hall and people are invited to share their hopes for the future by adding a leaf with a personal message.