THE FIRST MINISTER, Mark Drakeford, will take part in the National Coronavirus Commemorative Event held at 5:15 pm today (March 23)

It will be a chance to reflect on how the pandemic has had a profound impact on every community in Wales and celebrate how people in those communities have sustained each other.

The occasion will be an opportunity to express our thanks to our health workers and carers, who have done so much to care for those who have been ill and those who have lost their lives.

Ifor ap Glyn the National Poet of Wales will read a poem written especially for the Commemoration and the Morriston Hospital Emergency Department Choir have recorded a special performance for the event.

The First Minister will also take part in a minute silence at midday to remember those who have died over the last year.

Mark Drakeford said: “Over the last 12 months, the pandemic has turned all our lives upside down.

“Too many families have lost loved ones and close friends and so many people haven’t had a chance to say goodbye because of all the changes coronavirus has meant to our lives.

“It’s really important we have an opportunity to come together to reflect on the last year and to unite to support each other through this tough time.”

Andrew RT Davies MS – the Welsh Conservative Senedd Leader – has invited people across Wales to join others in the UK to pause and reflect today, saying: “None of us would have thought a year ago that we would still be in the midst of the Covid crisis, and while there is real hope for optimism, it’s right that today we reflect on what has happened to us and our country, and for the losses we have endured.

“At midday, there will be a minute’s silence, and I will also be attending this evening’s National COVID commemorative event on the steps of the Senedd. Later tonight, at 8 pm, there will a doorstep candlelit vigil for us to remember, and if you can, do join with countless others in taking part.

“For some, those whose lives have been touched by sadness during this pandemic, this will be a very trying day, but rest assured that you’re not alone, and the thoughts of all of us are with you.”

The National Coronavirus Commemorative Event will be presented by Huw Edwards and broadcast at 5:15 pm on BBC One Wales and S4C.