A National Day of Reflection: Lessons from past memorialisation initiatives and attitudes in the present

About the project

The question of when and how to memorialise the pandemic and those who have died from COVID-19 or during periods of social restriction has inspired ongoing and sometimes difficult discussion. This project focused on the evolution of those arguments and debates as they unfolded in 2020/2021. It incorporated historical expertise on civic memorialisation, looking to previous national commemorative enterprises, such as the commemoration of the First and Second World Wars and the Holocaust, to find inspiration or inform our thinking.

Professor David Tollerton worked with Marie Curie – a leading end of life charity and bereavement advocacy association – to understand and inform stakeholder opinion of memorialising practices and understand how memorialisation has been adapted (successfully or not) to meet personal and social needs under lockdown.