I am urging local people to take part in commemorations to mark 100 years since the outbreak of the First World War by turning out their lights on 4 August.
I am supporting the Lights Out campaign, which is inviting people across the UK to switch off their lights between 10pm and 11pm on 4 August and light a single candle in a shared moment of national reflection.
The moment will mark precisely a century since Britain declared war on Germany and formally entered the First World War at 11pm on 4 August 1914.
The Lights Out campaign is inspired by the words of the then Foreign Secretary, Sir Edward Grey, who famously remarked on the outbreak of the war: ‘The lamps are going out all over Europe; we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime.’
Millions of people across the UK are expected to take part in Lights Out, which will see hundreds of public buildings and iconic landmarks such as the Houses of Parliament, Tower Bridge and Blackpool Illuminations also turning out their lights.
The project is being organised by 14-18 NOW, the official cultural programme for the First World War Centenary Commemorations, with particular support from the Royal British Legion.
The First World War was a conflict that changed Britain forever. It touched every family, affected every community and fundamentally altered our country’s place in the world.
The centenary anniversary is a unique opportunity for us to commemorate those who served and sacrificed for us on the frontline and the home front, and to think about the profound impact the war had on our society.
I hope people across North West Leicestershire will join in with the Lights Out campaign and turn out their lights between 10pm and 11pm on 4 August. With the busy lives we lead today, the simple act of pausing, switching off the lights and lighting a candle will be a very powerful tribute.