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Last Updated: Sunday, 14 November, 2004, 11:43 GMT
Memorial services held for fallen
Rhodri Morgan, Rodney Berman and Don Touhig MP lay wreaths

First Minister Rhodri Morgan has led the people of Wales in honouring their war dead at the Welsh National Service of Remembrance on Sunday.

Mr Morgan joined the city's lord mayor and other dignitaries at a service in Cathays Park in Cardiff.

Around Wales, ex-servicemen and women joined civic leaders in other services of remembrance.

The family of Llywelyn Evans, the first Welsh soldier to die in the Iraq war, laid a wreath in Llandudno.

This year has special significance for veterans of World War Two, as it marks the 60th anniversary of D-Day and the struggle for the liberation of Europe.

If they hadn't made that sacrifice all those years ago, we wouldn't be here today
Anthony Downie

But with conflict continuing in Iraq and other parts of the world there were also prayers for the servicemen and women still facing danger every day.

The service in Cardiff included members of the crew of HMS Cardiff who were taking part in their final remembrance service in the city before the ship is decommissioned.

The Band and Drums of the Royal Welsh Regiment performed the run-up to the minute's silence at 1100 GMT.

Mr Morgan described the turnout of around 1,000 people as "magnificent".

He said the national commemoration was now recognised as the Welsh equivalent of the one at the Cenotaph in Westminster.

Remembrance service in Llandudno
The family of Llywelyn Evans laid a wreath in Llandudno

He said veterans had been enticed out to the annual act of remembrance by the exceptional good autumn weather.

As the band played Men of Harlech and marched off, one Cardiff family who had come to watch the ceremony said it was their way of saying thank you.

Anthony Downie, who was with eight-year-old daughter Katie, said: "If they hadn't made that sacrifice all those years ago, we wouldn't be here today."

American actor Carl Louis, in Cardiff for the annual film festival, was intrigued by the pomp and ceremony.

He asked what was going on and why everyone was proudly wearing poppies.

He said: "Back home we have Veteran's Day, but it's nothing like this - all these men and women looking so proud."

Parades

And for the veterans it was a time to pause and remember what happened to them and the friends they had known.

Ron Walters, 82, from Cardiff, who served in the Middle East and Yugoslavia, with 43 Commando of the Royal Marines, said: "I'm lucky. It's a bonus for me being here.

"I lost my best mate on one off the islands of Yugoslavia."

Many events included a parade by veterans, current servicemen and women and cadets of the armed forces, in addition to the laying of wreaths.

In Wrexham members of the Royal Welch Fusiliers marched past the war memorial at Bodhyfryd.

Services

The Royal British Legion, which holds the annual Poppy Appeal to raise funds for disabled service people and their families, had organised a number of the ceremonies.

Lance Bombardier Evans - known to his friends as Welly - was killed aged 24 on the first day of the conflict when his American transport helicopter crashed in the desert.

His family attended a service at Holy Trinity Church in Llandudno.

On Thursday, a number of services were held across Wales to mark Armistice Day.

A two-minute silence was held at cenotaphs in town, cities and villages.




SEE ALSO:
Wales remembers the fallen
11 Nov 04 |  Wales


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