Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Hillsborough Commemoration Service - Kensington

I have just come away from a commemoration service for the 96 mainly young people who died in the Leppings Lane end of the Sheffield Hillsborough ground, 20 years ago today.

It was held at Kensington Fields Community Centre, and was introduced by Paul Nicholson. Most of the service was however conducted by the junior and infant school children of Sacred Heart school.

A short service, they sang "The Fields of Anfield Road" and "You'll never walk alone". Each child read out a prayer they had written to remember the dead, then they read out the names and ages of the 96. I was struck again by how young most victims were; so many aged between 16 and 25 in particular. What a tragic waste, to think of these young people who, if they had lived would have been about my age. That really brought it into focus for me.

Bobby Parry read out a poem he had written and we had a minute's silence.

As we left, the children handed out 96 glittering hand-made stars, each one containing the name of one of the 96, that we were asked to think about and perhaps pray for during the course of the day. My prayers and thoughts will be with the friends and family of Christopher James Traynor.

A very moving service, made more so by the fact that the dead were being remembered by children, children who were not alive 20 years ago but took the time to commemorate the event.

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