Ripon residents turned out in force to attend the emotional opening of our city’s new Remembrance garden on Saturday.
In fact, so many people were there that the crowds stretched out well beyond the garden itself, snaking up Kirkgate, across the road, and down the sides of Ripon Cathedral.
Children and adults alike were moved to tears, and all stood proudly together as crosses were placed in memory of those who served in the First World War from Ripon. Despite the huge numbers attending, total silence fell when residents paused to remember the sacrifices made.
Thanks to many months of hard work by Ripon Royal British Legion, the garden, which faces the north side of Ripon Cathedral, is now open for all residents and visitors to enjoy.
Carol Priestley said: “I have been a Ripon resident for 40 years, and have never felt so proud of our city. I bought my wooden cross ages ago and have followed the progression of the memorial garden for weeks, waiting for my chance to plant that cross.
“For me. like many, I hoped the garden was going to be a lasting, personal, reflective place, and it really is. The official opening ceremony on Saturday was so moving and appropriate, and I was not ashamed to shed a few tears, along with others.
"Jeet Bahadur Sahi’s fitting and powerful words as Chairman of Ripon Royal British Legion, the standards held so tightly on a windy morning, the silence, the civic presence, the beautiful dedication by the Dean, the playing of the lone piper - all elements of the ceremony were unforgettable and apt.”