Leader: ‘There is no doubt it would gain support’

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IT IS always a moving moment when the Capital stops to remember its war dead, but the temporary remembrance garden created in Princes Street Gardens last year will live particularly long in the memory of all who visited.

Thousands upon thousands of memorial crosses stood, each carrying a poppy and emotionally-charged handwritten message – some highly personal, others a simple tribute to all servicemen and women. It was an extremely moving sight, and many felt that sea of crosses in the heart of the city made for as fine a war memorial as they had ever seen.

Just a few months earlier, tens of thousands lined Edinburgh’s streets to take part in the biggest Armed Forces Day celebrations yet staged in Scotland.

The desire to pay tribute to our war dead not only remains strong but continues to grow.

And increasingly Edinburgh, with its long and proud military traditions, has provided the focal point for the nation’s memorial events.

The creation of a permanent memorial to all of Edinburgh’s fallen war heroes seems like a logical next step.

And Princes Street Gardens would be its natural home.

There is no doubt there would be huge support for such a project, so much so that the £500,000 needed is surely a surmountable obstacle, even in these challenging times.

The fact that 11,000 people spent £5 to plant poppy crosses in the Gardens last November is proof, were it needed, of the groundswell of support it would generate.

And, should it be required, there could be no objection to some public funds being used to help make this a reality, perhaps as match-funding public donations.

Given that such a memorial in the heart of the Capital would take on national significance, it might even be appropriate for the Scottish Government or the Ministry of Defence to offer its financial backing.

A permanent garden of remembrance would not only be the most fitting of tributes to our war heroes, it would also be a gift which would be appreciated by many generations to come.