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Liverpool May Blitz remembered with parade and ceremony

Liverpool Daily Post, 30 April 2011

“It has been a truly special day, and it is so important to remember."

Liverpool war veterans were today joined by famous faces who paid tribute to those who died in the May Blitz.

The 70th anniversary commemorative events began with a parade through the city, lead by ceremonial pipers down Whitechapel.

City dignitaries were joined by names including Cherie Booth, Stan Boardman and John Conteh, who laid wreaths in memory.

The ceremony marked the start of three days of commemorative events to pay tribute to the 1,700 lives lost in a week of carnage unleashed by Hitler's Luftwaffe.

The raids destroyed and damaged a third of houses in Liverpool and two thirds in Bootle.

Survivors of the May 1941 bombings were also joined by Iraq veteran Craig Lundberg and one of four surviving Chindits, George Main from Hale.

The event attracted big crowds as the parade culminated on Church Street for the wreath laying ceremony.

Dignitaries included Merseyside MPs and the Lord Mayor Cllr Hazel Williams, who gave a speech.

She said: "We are here to pay tribute to those who lost their lives, and we are celebrating the spirit of the Liverpool people.

"I love the spirit of this city, the humour of this city and our ability to pick ourselves up and start again."

Mike McCartney, whose parents met during the Blitz also attended to lay a wreath, along with Pauline Daniels and representatives from the police, fire and ambulance services.

Mike said: "I called up Paul to say we were doing this and he said he wanted it to be laid from both of us as well as mum and dad, so both our names were on it.

"It has been a truly special day, and it is so important to remember.

"There are so many young people here, which is great to see too."

Scouse comedian Stan Boardman, who experienced the devastation wreaked on the city first-hand, also joined the march.

His six-year-old brother died during the bombings.

He said: "It has been an excellent event. I lived through it, and the memories are still there, this has brought it all back."

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