Light Up Red for Poppy centenary
This year marks 100 years of the Poppy as the national symbol of Remembrance, and to celebrate the important milestone, Poppyscotland is encouraging landmarks, tourist destinations and business properties across Aberdeenshire to ‘Light Up Red’.
The charity is calling for mass involvement from schools, universities, council buildings, monuments, statues and other attractions during the period leading up to Remembrance Sunday from October 22 to November 14.
Any building with external lighting can take part simply by adding red gel filters to the flood or up-lights to help Poppyscotland commemorate the centenary of the Poppy.
Previous participants in the North-east have included the Gordon Highlanders Museum and Robert Gordon’s College.
Three million Poppies, which are all handmade by veterans at the Lady Haig Poppy Factory in Edinburgh, began their journey to cities, towns and villages across the country last month, ahead of the 2021 Scottish Poppy Appeal. To celebrate the 100-year milestone, around half a million special-edition centenary Poppies have also been produced.
The Scottish Poppy Appeal is the largest annual charity street collection in Scotland and raises more than £2 million each year. The money raised from the Poppy Appeal and year-round fundraising enables Poppyscotland to support members of the Armed Forces community in Scotland by providing services in advice, employment, housing, mental health, and mobility.
With last year’s Scottish Poppy Appeal being badly impacted by the pandemic, the centenary takes on an even greater significance.
Gordon Michie, head of fundraising and learning at Poppyscotland, said: “The last 18 months have been a very difficult time for us as a charity, and even more so for the Armed Forces community we support. The pandemic halted all our major fundraising events and we had to drastically change the way in which we reached out to the public for donations. Despite this we have still provided our vital, life-changing support uninterrupted throughout the pandemic.
“The support of local businesses and national landmarks has been fantastic over many years, and we’re eager to hear from other locations that would like to join us in paying tribute to Scotland’s Armed Forces community. To see the country light up red during the Remembrance period will be even more poignant as, 100 years on, the Poppy Appeal remains as important now as it ever has been.”
While the roots of the Poppy stem from Flanders Fields, its adoption as a symbol of Remembrance began in the aftermath of the First World War. French activist, Anna Guérin came to the UK in September 1921, after campaigning to promote the symbol of the Poppy in the United States. Setting out to do the same work in Britain, she met with Field Marshall Sir Douglas Haig, who had recently founded the British Legion, and the Poppy was adopted as the national symbol of Remembrance.
For more information on how to Light Up Red for Poppyscotland, go to www.poppyscotland.org.uk/light-up-red.