This is why we are saluting the nation's #HealthHeroes

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In her address to the nation - and the Commonwealth - on Sunday evening, the Queen began by thanking everyone on the NHS frontline, as well as care workers and those carrying out essential roles, "who selflessly continue their day-to-day duties outside the home in support of us all".

The roar of doorstep applause across every street in Britain for the past two Thursday evenings at 8pm has articulated more lucidly than language that the public endorses that heartfelt praise.

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We know that is so because you have told us. You have spoken of your pride in the NHS; you have shared your thoughts and photos of those on whom we have rarely depended more.

So today we celebrate all the local heroes.

At the same time, we join forces with our sister titles across the UK in amplifying the message: #HealthHeroes.

In James Hilton's almost lyrical Goodbye Mr Chips, the author observes in his opening sentence that the "hours seem to pass like lazy cattle moving across a landscape".

For those of us following the instruction from Government to stay at home whenever we possibly can, that phrase has enormous resonance. Apart from the structure administered by homeworking, meal times, and maybe a daily fix of TV, the days blur seamlessly into each other as the hours drift just like those indolent cows of Hilton's creation.

But not for everyone.

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On the NHS frontline and for shop workers, refuse collectors, carers and those that keep the nation functioning, every second has never counted more, been more demanding, piled more stress and pressure on those committed to serving us.

The Queen spoke directly to these modest saviours: "I am sure the nation will join me in assuring you that what you do is appreciated and every hour of your hard work brings us closer to a return to more normal times."

Well today we do assure you. More than that, from the very bottom of our hearts we thank you.

And as we each discharge the safest and simplest of tasks of staying at home, in the silence of our thoughts we salute you too.

By Gary Shipton

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Show your support for the incredible work being done by those working on the frontline of the coronavirus crisis. Join our Facebook group and follow the dedicated Instagram page to read stories of everyday heroism and share your own messages.

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