About the Day



When is the Day of Reflection?

The Day of Reflection is marked each year on 21 June, the longest day of the year.

What is the Day of Reflection?

The Day of Reflection on 21 June is an initiative proposed by Healing Through Remembering (HTR), a cross-community organisation focused on ways of dealing with the past relating to the conflict in and about Northern Ireland.

The idea for reflection was part of an original recommendation made in 2002 in the Report of the Healing Through Remembering Project June 2002. This report followed a public consultation on ways of dealing with the past.

Following local and international research into the recommendation for a Day of Reflection HTR is inviting people to take the opportunity to privately reflect. Research and consultation suggests such an initiative can benefit both individuals and wider society.

The Day of Reflection is offered as an inclusive and positive event that emphasises a commitment to a peaceful new society. It provides a voluntary opportunity for everyone in Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and Great Britain to reflect upon the conflict in and about Northern Ireland and the future that is before us.

The Day of Reflection on 21 June is offered as a day for personal, private and individual reflection, for example, at home or at work or within a family, group or organisation.

Public events are not to be a feature of the Day.

The Day of Reflection will be evaluated to inform the decision on whether to proceed with this initiative in future years and if so, in what format.

Why 21 June?

The date was chosen following thorough consideration into possible dates for such a day. This highlighted that there is no single date in the calendar year which is not the anniversary of the death of at least one person in relation to the conflict.

It was felt that 21 June, the summer solstice and the longest day of the year, was a symbolically important day. The ebbing relationship between the hours of night and day could be seen as a symbol of the pain and hope in our society. It is a day that is forward-looking and backward-looking at the same time. It is a day which represents a pause in the cycle of nature, a moment to reflect. Furthermore, the day's significance is related to a naturally occurring event and nature makes no distinction between races, creeds or political perspectives.

Purpose of the Day of Reflection

The Day of Reflection offers an opportunity for us all:

Principles and Values of the Day of Reflection

The Day of Reflection is offered as an inclusive and positive event that emphasises a commitment to a peaceful new society.

The Day of Reflection is underpinned by an inclusive and sensitive approach which:

Effects of the Day of Reflection

We hope the Day of Reflection will:

Previous Years

The Day of Reflection was initially held on Thursday, 21 June 2007 and a range of groups and individuals participated in the Day. The Day was evaluated (as it has been every year since) and it was decided that the Day should be held in future years.

If you have any questions please visit our FAQs page.

< back to top