Silence is held to honour fallen hero

Two minutes silence was held at Blackpool Cenotaph in memory of soldier Lee Rigby.
Two minutes silence was held at Blackpool Cenotaph in memory of soldier Lee Rigby.
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Drummer Lee Rigby was 
honoured with a minute’s silence at Blackpool’s war 
memorial yesterday as his body was laid to rest.

More than 50 people, many serving or ex-armed forces, formed a ring around the war memorial on Princes Parade to pay their respects to the soldier as his funeral was being held in Bury.

Fusilier Lee Rigby, 25, was killed on a London street on May 22. A drummer in the 2nd Battalion Royal Regiment of Fusiliers (2RRF), he was killed as he returned to Woolwich barracks in south east London from the Tower of London.

Two men, Michael Adebolajo, 28, and Michael Adebowale, 22, are due to stand trial accused of murder.

The area on the Promenade fell silent for a minute at 11am before the mourners applauded the fallen soldier.

“It’s only right that people should spare a minute to show a bit of respect,” said organiser Stephen Russell.

“I hope it shows his family it’s not just them thinking about their son.”

Lee Rigby’s family were met with applause as they arrived at the funeral in Bury before thousands of mourners fell silent for the service.

His widow Rebecca Rigby said: “We have had an awful lot of support from across the world. It has been overwhelming. There are so many kind and generous people out there. It’s just horrible that it takes something such as this to make you see how many good people there are.”

Standing ram rod straight, representatives from Supporting Our Brave’s Blackpool unit also joined the event on the Promenade.

Ray Graham, unit manager, said: “I think it was right and proper for us to be here to pay respects.”

Bikers dressed in leathers, with tattoos covering muscular arms were among those paying their respects.

They showed their softer sides, raising sunglasses to reveal tears in their eyes after the silence.

After the applause two women stepped forward from the mourners to lay flowers at the memorial.

Jim Greenwood, 56, from South Shore, said: “I think it’s important to show we stand together and to show people like Lee Rigby the respect they deserve.”