THE Bettws community gathered yesterday to pay respects to those who died on September 11 2001 and in conflicts across the world.

The 12th annual peace and reconciliation service was held at Bettws shopping centre and attracted more than 100 people. The service was first held in 2002 in response to the bombing of the twin towers on September 11, 2001, and is now a service to encourage peace throughout the world.

The service was organised by Bettws in Bloom and pupils from Monnow Primary School, Millbrook Primary School and Ysgol Gymraeg Ifor Hael took part in readings.

Colin Baker, chairman of Bettws in Bloom, said: "We are indebted to the school and the community, all the volunteers who have helped us.

"We must remember 100 years ago today when our great grandfathers were fighting in the poppy fields of Flanders. We must never forget that."

The head girl Poppy Savage, 17, and head boy, Scott Lewis, 17, of Newport High School gave a reading at the ceremony and lit a candle in remembrance.

Cllr Mathew Evans, mayor of Newport, said: "It's a pleasure to be here and see so many young people who are involved in supporting a world of peace locally, nationally and internationally. Some of you may not have even been born in 2011 but are aware of the profound affect this event had on the world."

Canon Henry Davies, formerly of St David's Church, Bettws, lead the ceremony and The Bettws in Bloom Entertainment Group performed Love Changes Everything.

Members of the Newport branch of the Royal Welsh Regimental Association, the Royal Welsh Comrade Association and the Royal Naval Association were part of the service.

Graham Smith, standard bearer, and former drummer in the Royal Regiment of Wales 24th/41 foot, said: "We have been part of the service for a number of years. We are very pleased to be here to pay our respects.”