On Monday, August 4th, 2014, more than 150 people gathered in respectful silence at Ballymoney’s war memorial to mark the time, one hundred years ago to the day, when the First World War began.
On a still, pleasant evening in the town, young and old gathered to pay their respects to those who died in the “war to end all wars” between 1914 - 1918.
President of Ballymoney branch of the Royal British Legion, John Pinkerton, addressed the crowds and quoted the then British Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey who said: “The lamps are going out all over Europe, we shall not see them lit again in our life-time”.
Rev Gareth McLean of First Ballymoney Presbyterian Church lead the crowd in prayer and prayed for all those who had lost their lives in the First World War.
There were also speeches, exhortations and reminiscences from the Mayor of Ballymoney, Alderman Bill Kennedy and chairman of Ballymoney RBL Mark McLaughlin as - section by section - the crowd were invited to extinguish their candles, representing each lost life in the conflict.
Finally, only one candle remained burning.
To absolute silence from the gathered crowd, Mark McLaughlin said the dedication: “When you go home, tell them of us and say for your tomorrow, we gave our today”.
And with that, the remaining candle was extinguished by Melissa Hargy - who, most poignantly, was chosen to dim the final light as she is the only youth member of Ballymoney RBL branch.