A COMMUNITY came together for a service to remember those who have died in conflicts across the world and to pray for peace.

People and children from Newport High School, Monnow Primary School and Ysgol Gymraeg Ifor Hael, gathered at Bettws Shopping Centre for the annual peace and reconciliation event which is organised by Bettws in Bloom. The service was first held in 2002 following the bombing of the Twin Towers in New York and is held to encourage peace around the world. It continues to be held annually, and remembers the victims of other attacks and other atrocities.

Bettws in Bloom chairperson Ann Royle, who is one of the event organisers, said: “This is a service we we have done since the Twin Towers came down. Every year we have held a service and we now hold this service to remember anyone who has been killed or injured in any conflicts and to pay for peace and reconciliation.

“The children come every year from the schools. We feel it’s important to remember, especially for the children, so they understand and as they grow they won’t be so inclined to get into wars.

“Every year, people are moved by the service and everyone has their own things to remember.”

The service began with the hymn All Things Bright and Beautiful which was followed by a reading from St Matthew’s Gospel by pupils from Newport High School.

The sun shone on those gathered, and candles were lit as an act of remembrance. There was also a wreath laid to remember the dead and as a token of peace.

Members of the Bettws in Bloom Community Choir sang two songs and the service ended with Amazing Grace and a prayer.

Also in attendance was mayor of Newport, Cllr David Fouweather, Lt Col Erik Bengtson from the 104 Regiment Royal Artillery.

Members of the Royal Naval Association, Royal Welsh Comrades Association and the Merchant Navy Association were also part of the service. Standard bearers from each regiment took part in the minute silence to remember the victims and the the last post was sounded to mark the moment.

This year, the service also featured mentions of the ongoing unrest in Somalia and Iraq as well as Syria and Myanmar.

Canon Henry Davies, of St David’s Church, Bettws, led the ceremony.

He said: “We decided to hold the event on the third Friday in September so we don’t just remember 9/11.

“It’s important to remember and also to stand up and say ‘We will do something about it’.”

Cllr Fouweather added: “I think it’s important for the community to come together to remember those who have lost their lives or who have suffered in other ways, whether terrorist atrocities or the hurricanes and earthquakes that have happened.

“I think Bettws is a great community and they stand together through many things.”