Hundreds of people turned out on a cold wet evening to pay their final respects to Mikaeel Kular.
A crowd of more than 500 people attended the Send Off for Mikaeel event at Cramond Beach last night while across the Forth at Pathhead Sands a similar sized crowd had also gathered.
Both communities were united in grief, with many of those present from Edinburgh having taken part in the two-day search for the three-year-old after he was reported missing from his home in Ferry Gait, Drylaw. Others chose to remember Mikaeel by releasing balloons outside his house, where hundreds of toys and floral tributes have been left.
A limit of 100 balloons requested by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) due to safety fears for planes flying overhead was respectfully observed by organisers.
And instead many chose to bring tealights and candles and line them along the sea wall.
Balloons and Chinese Lanterns then filled the sky at the stroke of 7pm followed by some heartfelt words from event organiser Hayley Clements and local councillor Cammy Day.
Children and families then fell silent to pay their final respects to young Mikaeel.
Drylaw resident, Lindsay McGlynn, 30, was in attendance with her four-year-old daughter, Ailie.
She said: “Wee Mikaeel’s death really has affected the community and like everyone else we wanted to come here and pay our final respects and say goodbye.
“It’s affected everyone, even my wee girl was out in the garden last week looking for Mikaeel. It has brought a great sense of unity to the community.”
Conner Dickson, 15, from Drylaw, organised a previous memorial service last weekend in the nearby Muirhouse St Andrew’s Church.
He revealed that funds were being raised to install a memorial bench or climbing frame in the community in memory of Mikaeel.
He said: “I just feel like I haven’t done enough for the wee boy. This is the only way we can find closure.”
Organiser of the event Hayley Clements said: “Obviously Mikaeel has touched a lot of hearts in the community. Thanks very much for bringing balloons and for lighting candles.”
This was echoed by Cllr Day who said: “Tonight is a final send-off for Mikaeel and is another showing of the great efforts this community put into the search for him.
“In the week following the tragic news of his body being recovered I have noticed a stronger sense of togetherness in the community.
“This shows the country and beyond the type of spirit we have here in Muirhouse and Silverknowes.”
Fellow councillor Vicki Redpath said: “It’s great that two communities on this side of the Forth can come together in this way.
“I would hope that with the release of the balloons and lanterns people can in some way come closer to terms with what has happened.”
Mikaeel’s body was discovered in Fife last Friday, the day after he was reported missing from his home in Drylaw.
His mother Rosdeep Kular, 33, appeared at Edinburgh Sheriff Court on Monday charged with his murder and attempting to defeat the ends of justice. She made no plea or declaration, was remanded in custody and committed for further examination.
Kular is expected to make a second appearance at the court on Tuesday.
Stobo officials pledge £1000
Stobo Castle in the Borders has pledged £1000 towards the creation of a permanent memorial for Mikaeel Kular.
Community group Tenants and Residents in Muirhouse organised the collection which it is hoped will establish a lasting tribute to the three-year-old.
Already, promises worth thousands of pounds have been made towards the fund even before the creation of a dedicated bank account.
Robert Pearson, chairman which has said: “The collection is going well.
“Stobo got in contact with us to say they we were in their thoughts and to pledge £1000 towards the fund. It’s a very kind gesture.”
Details of the bank account are set to be released to the public early next week.
A decision on how the money should be spent will be made by Muirhouse residents.
Flora Stevenson Primary, Mikaeel’s former school, is planning a separate memorial with discussions set to take place with the Parent Teacher Council over the most appropriate tribute.