Prime Minister David Cameron said the World War One centenary commemorations will ensure that future generations remember and learn about the "extraordinary sacrifice" of the soldiers that died in the Great War. He said:
This was the extraordinary sacrifice of a generation. It was a sacrifice they made for us, and it is right that we should remember them.
The Centenary will also provide the foundations upon which to build an enduring cultural and educational legacy to put young people front and centre in our commemoration and to ensure that the sacrifice and service of 100 years ago is still remembered in 100 years time.
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Thousands of fans - who could not fit inside the cathedral - listened to proceedings from outside.