Remembrance

Edinburgh's Garden of Remembrance opens with ceremony attended by hundreds

The Garden of Remembrance acts as a focal point for the city during the annual period of remembrance.

Edinburgh's Garden of Remembrance opened on Monday morning with a ceremony paying tribute to the fallen.

Hundreds gathered to reflect on those who have made the ultimate sacrifice – in a year that also marks the 100th anniversary of the Royal British Legion Scotland and the Scottish Poppy Appeal.

Senior officers from the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Air Force were represented, while the Scottish Veterans Minister laid a wreath on behalf of the Scottish Government.

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Second World War veteran James White laid a special centenary wreath in the garden for the Royal British Legion Scotland.

The Garden of Remembrance acts as a focal point for the city during the annual period of remembrance and people are encouraged to plant crosses marking the lives lost in the line of duty over the years.

The Lord Provost of Edinburgh, Councillor Frank Ross, said: "The Garden of Remembrance here in Princes Street Gardens is always a special date in the calendar.

"I think this year for two particular reasons – one is the... Remembrance itself and that act of being able to come together and remember.

"I think the fact that we had such a large crowd here today was absolutely tremendous.

"People want to come out and be part of a social grouping and I think that was important."

Hundreds of people attended the ceremony marking the opening of the garden.
Hundreds of people attended the ceremony marking the opening of the garden.

Laurence Binyon's poem 'For The Fallen' was read out by Royal British Legion Scotland president, Lieutenant General Sir Alistair Irwin, and a silence was held to remember the fallen during the ceremony.

Sir Alistair said: "It's a very important time of year because it allows us to think of those that have made the ultimate sacrifice but, more important in my view, also to think of those who went to serve the country and now need help.

"I'm always a little bit surprised that each year Remembrance means as much as it did last year.

"Sometimes you think something that is done annually becomes a sort of formula that people just go through the motions of, without actually really thinking, but I think one of the wonderful things about Remembrance is that it's precisely not that, it is not a formula.

"It is not something we just do because we have to, we do it because we want to remember and we want to say thank you."

Similar Remembrance gardens are also being opened elsewhere in Scotland.

A ceremony to mark the opening of the Inverness Garden of Remembrance was held on Friday, while Glasgow's garden will be opened on Tuesday.