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Scotland's first field of remembrance opens

MON, 07 NOV 11 00:00:00 +0000

Thousands of crosses displaying messages of remembrance and support have been planted in Scotland’s first ever Field of Remembrance, which opened today in Edinburgh, set up by Poppyscotland to mark the 90th anniversary of the Scottish Poppy Appeal.

The Field of Remembrance opened in Princes Street Gardens on the west side of the Scott Monument immediately after the official opening ceremony of the traditional Edinburgh Garden of Remembrance, which is organised by the Royal British Legion Scotland.

The Lord Provost of Edinburgh, the Rt Hon George Grubb, and Minister for Housing and Transport, Keith Brown MSP (on behalf of the First Minister) each planted a cross in the Field of Remembrance, which contains 11,000 remembrance crosses from Poppyscotland supporters with messages of remembrance for lost loved ones or support for those still serving. There is also a special Afghanistan plot which features photographs of those who have been killed in action during continuing operations.

Many crosses have been returned with donations and Poppyscotland anticipates receiving around £230,000, which will be used to provide life-changing support to veterans and their families.

Colin Flinn, Head of Fundraising at Poppyscotland, commented: “We wanted to mark our 90th year by introducing an initiative that the public could share in and, by creating the very first Field of Remembrance in Scotland, we are able to pay tribute to all those who have bravely served in our Armed Forces and those who are sadly no longer with us.

“We are delighted to be working with our colleagues in the Royal British Legion Scotland to ensure that Remembrance Week in Scotland gets off to a tremendous start.

“Ninety years on the Scottish Poppy Appeal is needed as much now as it ever was, with more and more veterans requiring support to help them deal with often complex and multiple needs. We need to raise as much money as possible to ensure that veterans and their families will receive the help they need and deserve now and in the future.”

At the opening ceremony of the Garden of Remembrance, attended by veterans from across the city, wreaths were laid by the Lord Provost, Keith Brown MSP (representing the First Minister) the respective heads of the Navy, Army and Royal Air Force, as well as representatives of Royal British Legion Scotland, Poppyscotland and other veterans’ charities, along with members of the Police and Fire Services. Hymns and readings took place and the Last Post was sounded. Music was provided by the Edinburgh University Brass Band.

George Ross, General Secretary of the Royal British Legion Scotland, said: “We are proud to help organise the Garden of Remembrance which provides an important focus for us all.  The success of the Appeal reminds us that it remains of great importance to the public and ex-Service community alike.”

Keith Brown MSP added: “As a nation we owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to the men and women who have served their country during peace keeping missions and in times of conflict. The Garden of Remembrance and the Field of Remembrance provide a focal point for our communities to pay their respects and reflect back on their friends, colleagues and family who served their country. They never gave up hope in their drive and determination for peace and we must never forget the personal sacrifice made by so many.”

The Field of Remembrance and the Garden of Remembrance will be open from Monday 7th November to Sunday 13th November for public to view. Visiting members of the public who wish to plant crosses can obtain them from the on-site kiosk.

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